Record review: Bully – Feels Like (2015, LP)

bully feels like

“Invisible handcuffs locked on me, been praying for my period all week,” sings Bully songwriter Alicia Bognanno a few bars into single ‘Trying’. It’s an appropriate glimpse into the mind of the Nashville band’s frontwoman; her lyrics are as honest as they are defiant. With so much to get off her chest, it might be expected that her band’s debut album be overly self-indulgent, but there’s a charming and vulnerable side to Bognanno that, when coupled with the quartet’s grunge-y riffs, makes for an album that rocks in all the right ways. When she’s not gently admitting “I’m just looking for clarity to help me to get through,” she’s yelling “I remember getting too fucked up, and I remember throwing up in your car,” in opener ‘I Remember’. The 25 year-old’s stroppy contempt in ‘Picture’ will speak to anyone who has had their photo taken when they didn’t want to, while lines like “I thought that he would never hit a girl, but I guess you never know” are delivered with a world-weariness of someone who has seen it all. ‘Trash’ is nothing like the New York Dolls number of the same name, but prowls dark corners with its hackles raised, and the title track owes much to Billy Corgan. There’s a whiff of early Replacements in the likes of ‘Six’ and ‘Brainfreeze’, but it’s ultimately Bognanno’s lyrics and delivery which steal the show here. Well worth checking out.

For Beat

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