Indie confessionals Bully made frank on their hooks with their 2013 debut, and they follow up with Losing, a record a little down the line from their early-ages adult grunge and with more dynamism than their fevered past -- these songs, while still as fiery, open up their intensity to the possibilities of structure.
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Hooks and fuzz: so good they need not one more thing to complete a rule of three for them. Bully make terse, punky pop music that leaves itself sparse just so it can fill up on distortion and discordance at its catchiest moments, one-two punching with grunge in the way all good bands should. Take note: ‘Losing’ makes sure it’s never a drag, that its songs are always welcome when the one before has wound itself out of existence.
Following up their debut, this riffy, yelpy record feels unhinged without being it, feeling like a structural upgrade to a raucous bloodletting. The rhythm section nimbly compacts the band’s harsher, skramz-ier moments into feeling clear and constant, as on the brilliant restrained fury of “Running”. A newfound dynamism to their sound creeps in, too: on “Seeing It” their nimble, melodic creep-out guitar recalls the brilliant Speedy Ortiz or Unwound, right before the band go in on vocal harmonies that feel torn apart by a bouncily abrasive riff and a foot-down yelp.
It’s like they’re setting up glorious moments only to knock them down at the exact same moment, the record collapsing into odd, twisted moments of euphoria. I can’t tell if the weird 180 guitar riff on “Blame” is perfect or perfectly awful, but both ways it makes for a slayer of a track on a brilliantly pissy record.
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- Losing by Bully
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