By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Sub Pop; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Kills to Be Resistant”, “Seeing It”, “Hate and Control”
Losing is the sophomore record from Nashville-based rock band Bully, and it doesn’t disappoint. Every track on the album screeches with old and new rock style, bringing a fresh take to rock’s current scene. Its heavy themes, combined with instrumentals that make you want to pick up a guitar yourself, create an angsty and powerful album.
The album opens with “Feel the Same”, that revs up with a banging guitar riff and lead singer, Alicia Bognanno, softly singing before screeching into the chorus. It’s a hard and fast opener that sets the stage for the rest of the album. “Kills to Be Resistant” follows, which is a banger with an indie-punk feel and plenty of memorable lyrics.
“Running” follows a similar pattern of awesomeness; guitar riffs, soft singing wrapping into a screaming chorus, backed up by softer vocals and simple drumming. “Seeing It” opens with a guitar riff that mimics Modest Mouse’s “Ocean Breathes Salty”, and carries both anguish and power as she rages against misogyny.
Between some of the heavier tracks, there are some musically lighter songs, like “Blame”. Even though the music sounds lighter, make no mistake. The lyrics are still biting and frenzied. “Focused” is similar, opening with acapella singing, joined by soft drumming. The track is the longest on the album and eventually winds itself into a higher-powered rock jam where Bognanno wails and mimics the guitar.
“Not the Way” is filled with guitar hooks and crunchy vocal parts. “Spiral” is a little softer and lyrical, and Bognanno never truly goes into her signature screaming voice. It’s still strong and rock-driven. This is followed by the syncopated “Either Way”, with a unique guitar and drumming pattern that rings out under the vocals. “You Could Be Wrong” relies on softer singing and heavier guitar. This song also has a pretty simple but slamming guitar solo.
The album ends with “Hate and Control”, a buzzing musical analysis about Bognanno herself, as she asks, “What is it about me makes you so uncomfortable?” It’s one of the more personal tracks on the album and after harder and heavier tracks, it stands out and ends the album on a high note.
Every track is something that would be an amazing live performance and has a style and feeling that is both rebellious and free. Bognanno’s voice is unique and powerful and gives Losing an energy that is hard to replicate.