For as long as I can remember SubPop has been my favorite record label. I am not really sure when or even how that happened but I have found a number of bands I really enjoy because they are signed through them. If SubPop is releasing it, I will give it a spin. The band does not always hit home with me but this method has produced enough positive that I keep at it. When I say that, I mean life-enriching. Of course, my bank account is definitely sad about it.
Through emails straight from SubPop and their social media outlets, I read they were releasing Losing, the sophomore album, for the band Bully. I then saw that the band would be stopping through Boise on their tour in March (thanks, Duck Club for all you do!) so I decided to see what they are all about.
Bully’s sophomore album Losing released by SubPop
The true test of an album for me is that I can listen all the way through without skipping any songs. This album definitely does that for me. Each song distinctly different but seamlessly melting into the next. I can not find any weak links among the twelve tracks. I am even having a hard time picking my favorite tracks because they are all so very good. If you were to twist my arm I would probably name Kills to be Resistant, Guess There, and You Could be Wrong.
Their sound is so reminiscent of the 90’s with echoes of some of my favorite bands. They have the fuzzy chill of Sonic Youth, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr. I hear Placebo, too, and Losing reminds me of the perfect balance they had between upbeat music and sad lyrics. Do not be fooled though, this band has a sound all it’s own. Somehow it took all of those familiar noises and made them all sound new.
As if all of this was not enough, lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist Alicia Bognanno has one of the best voices I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. I know that is not all due to production because it sounds amazing whether she is singing or yelling, both of which she does throughout the album. Her voice ties in perfectly with the sound of the music.
I am a little sad I am just learning about these guys but happy that I at least have another album (their 2015 debut, Feels Like ) to check out in the meantime. With that said I know Losing (order your copy here) is going to stay in heavy rotation for a while. I give it 5 stars.
P.S. If you’re lucky you might be able to snag one of the Loser editions through your local, independent record store or through SubPop’s website.