With my new job and weird schedule, the shows I’m able to attend have slimmed significantly. Essentially, if it’s not on a weekend or past 10:30, I’m most likely not attending. Despite my packed weekend catching up with friends that I’m also no longer able to see because lol they work during the day, I made it a point to cut plans short to see Bully open for Best Coast.
During dinner, my friend Anne and I even talked about how Bully is bringing back what we felt was missing in music. With the scene filled with super hip electronic bands and atmospheric vibes, that 90s grit of pure raging emotions was missing. Though often compared to the oh-so-many feels sound of Nirvana, we both agreed that was a lazy comparison made by every music journalist currently working. No, what Bully brings to the table isn’t the next Nirvana. They’re at the forefront of tilting the industry back to where it was a couple decades ago: pure, honest, and stripped down music. And it’s all being led by Alicia Bognanno.
Throughout their 30 min set, Bully shredded through their debut album Feels Like, elevating what was already in place on the record. The reason I hate the Nirvana comparison so much is because Bully doesn’t embody that darkness Nirvana latched onto and their live show proved that. There’s a fun, sweet element to their set which is due mostly to Bognanno’s capabilities to have a sugary-sweetness to her voice at certain moments. There’s an effortless presentation in their performance. Nothing is hard for anyone in the band. The reverbs and riffs and vocals ooze out of them like it’s almost beyond their control. While Bognanno sounds like she’s ripping her voice apart to fully express the true intent of her lyrics, she’ll come back down to a super quiet, super sweet speaking voice. The juxtaposition is so jolting, it almost makes the same impact as their catalogue.
Captivated completely, Bully sucks you in with the melodic arrangements and dynamic on stage. But you’re totally fine being lost in whatever they’re delivering. Bully is as strong as their name and they’re bringing reverting music back to place it didn’t know it wanted to go. And we’re fucking stoked.
Read our interview with Alicia in Issue #3 here.
Photo Credit: April Salud for THE RADICAL