Read our review of Cold Beat’s “Chaos By Invitation.”
Bully is a budding four-piece out of Nashville, also known as The Music City. Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno was a former intern at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago. The twenty-five-year-old grew up in Minnesota with a strong liking to running soundboards and recording. Fortunately for us, she has honed her remarkable skills into quite a craft. When she’s not on the road with Bully, you can find her at Battle Tapes, where she works as a recording engineer, or at The Stone Fox a couple nights a week running sound.
Along with her drummer/boyfriend Stewart Copeland and best buds, guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus, Bully has opened for the likes of Best Coast, Those Darlins, Superchuck, and Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), among others. Now, Bully is ready to cut their teeth on a headlining tour in support of their debut album, Feels Like. The high-speed killer percussion, coupled with dynamic melodies, renders a 10-track, thirty-one minute, no frills, high-energy grunge punk record—all written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Bognanno herself.
The album kicks off with attention-grabber “I Remember.” The track highlights the contrast between Bognanno’s domineering, throaty vocals and her softer, more endearing side. Some comparisons to Courtney Love may be undeniable (mainly because they are both women who play similar styles of music), but Bognanno soars above and beyond Love’s singing capabilities. She is a powerhouse singer and guitarist, and in a time where the ’90s have made their way back into our hearts and music, it’s nostalgia at it’s best, but with more spunk. Realistically, she’s more like Love’s better half, with her catchy melodies and long, messy bleached hair.
A couple of oldies but goodies made the cut (and rightfully so) for the band’s debut. “Brainfreeze” was taken from their 2013 self-titled EP, and although it’s towards the end of the album, “Milkman” sounds more like a proper introduction to the band. Penned and recorded by Bognanno, “Milkman” comes from the 2014 single of the same name.
If you take a listen to Bully’s first release, you will hear a huge difference in the musicianship and overall quality that runs throughout the promising young band’s debut full-length, Feels Like. With earworm songs from everything about broken hearts and broken bones, to hating pictures of yourself, partying too hard, and being a shark, Bully takes an honest approach to what it feels like to grow up. »
– Wendy Worzalla