Bully

Feels Like

Startime International/Columbia

Jul 02, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


If there is one aspect of Bully's breathless, hyperactive sound that befits their moniker on Feels Like, it is Alicia Bognanno's gloriously ragged power-tool of a voiceshrieking and rasping from amongst the dark corners and feedback of the record to force your ears against the lyrics in a way that the most compelling singers always do. Behind her, the band concoct a colourful amalgam of surf-rock, grunge, and fuzzed-up stoner rock that in lesser hands, could end up a tired retreading into the footfalls of the alternative '90s, but the deft sense of control they display here lets these influences emerge as fresh and vibrant as a redecoration of a well-known room. They know when to kick the door down (the stunning opener "I Remember") but they also know when to open it ominously and slowly ("Too Tough"). The echoes of Steve Albini's ability to streak glitter-spangled dirt pervade every corner of the record (indeed, it was recorded at his Electrical Audio studios where Bognanno formerly interned), with the end result sumptuous and invigorating. It is one thing to have influences, it is another to utilise them effectively and to push genres back towards the sunlight. Bully do this with such unique aplomb they end up striding firmly forwards rather than glancing self-consciously backwards. (www.bullythemusic.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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