If you wanted further proof that we at Far Out magazine are actually all-seeing predicting masters of the music world then you needn’t look any further than our Album of the Week.
When we showed you the promise of Nashville’s Bully in our round up of this year’s SXSW we had the feeling we would be seeing a lot more of them. We were right and thank God we were too! Yesterday’s release of their debut LP Feels Like on Startime International, is full of snot, blood, sweat and tears as it streams through the party at about half an hour long with all the gusto of a phetted up teen with a sparkling death-wish.
However easy it is to get caught up in this ferocious debut and the power with which it is swiftly delivered like a combo from a Brazilian street fighter, the real power comes from Bognanno, her delivery and the band’s craft. It’s been a while since a band have combined the raw energy from their conception with the smooth professionalism that they have gleaned along the way in to a complete package of angry pop perfection. Feels Like is the affirmation of that.
There are stand out tracks among the fizzing fury of the pop tinged 90’s grunge/punk of the LP. ‘I Remember’ the lead track is by far the most easily digestible. It screams across fuzzy hooks and is laden with Bognanno’s vocal finesse, which peaks with trepidation and roars with excitement and aggression. ‘Brainfreeze’ is still cool as fuck, meandering around the American dream and landing in among the nuance angst of Riot Grrl. While ‘Trying’ hits the same notes whilst delivering a far more socially charged message.
This is where Bully set themselves apart. Not only do they have the passion and punch to create effervescent punk but Bognanno and Co. also know when to add gravitas to their snarl driven sound. They do so without conscience or conceited ideals but pure, undiluted veracity and compulsion to be heard.
Bully are going to be around for a while, their brand of punk fuelled grunge is enticing in its simplicity and enveloping in the intricacies of that preface. They have smashed us across the face with one of the albums of the year so far, unrelenting, unflinching and undeniably good.