Bully’s latest effort is passable, but rarely stirs up the same visceral punk rock fun of their debut.
Bully’s debut Feels Like was an electrifying jolt of bratty, grunge-tinted pop punk, managing to balance strong, catchy songwriting sensibilities with a raw, unapologetic attitude helmed by vocalist/guitarist Alicia Bognanno. The album created a stir in underground circles, but mostly seemed to go unfairly unnoticed or underrated by the alternative scene on a greater scale. However, with their sophomore effort Losing set to be unleashed, it felt like the chance for the Nashville foursome to finally catch the ear of those who missed them the first time round…
Sadly though, the visceral energy and addictive hooks of their earlier material are never quite lived-up to on Losing, and instead often comes off as almost gutless in comparison, and at it’s best is an unadventurous rehash of the debut. For those who loved Feels Like, that might be forgivable, but there just seems to be something very limp and lazy about this new batch of tracks, despite the proud influence of acts like The Breeders and early Blink-182 still being present.
The production is somewhat spotty and birttle in places, with the loud, fuzzy 90s-inspired sound of their debut replaced by a less-weighty tone. On paper, ‘Running’ has all the potential to be a new anthem for the band, but the chorus just doesn’t pack the type of punch that it should, and the volume of the guitars and vocals sound awkwardly out of balance, and it doesn’t quite grip your attention in the way that older cuts like ‘Trying’ did.
Losing is mostly listenable and rarely doesn’t exactly do anything to make you recoil, but as an overall experience it’s just a little too plain and forgetful, and struggles to meet the potential that was shown when they first emerged onto the scene a couple of years ago. A Bully album should fill you with angsty adrenaline and a whiplash-inducing headbang session, but unfortunayely this album fails to achieve that. (5/10) (Woody Delaney)
Listen to Losing here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: album review, alicia bognanno, bully, grunge, losing, punk, Sub Pop
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