Two years after the release of the group’s grunge-inspired indie pop debut, Feels Like, Bully released their second studio album. True to the style of its predecessor, Losing continued the outfit’s blunt, undisguised lyrics and distorted, lo-fi guitar. Yet differentiating itself from Bully’s debut, Losing trades in the sugary, pop aspect of Feels Like for raspy, shouty vocals and an overall grittier sound. Inspired by a recent breakup with the band’s former drummer, frontwoman and lyricist Alicia Bognanno puts vehemence on full display, penning hooks targeted at a specific “you” throughout the album. On “Hate and Control,” Bognanno chants “What is it about me/ That makes you so uncomfortable?/ Can we just exist without your hate and control?”
Doubling as the band’s audio engineer, Bognanno landed an internship before starting Bully with Steve Albini, a notable sound engineer in grunge and noise rock who’d worked with Nirvana, Pixies, and PJ Harvey. These influences are easily found on Losing. Calling on grunge bands of the ‘90s, the album features sludgy distortion and call-and-response between vocals and guitar throughout.
Recommended If You Like: PJ Harvey, Speedy Ortiz, Sleater-Kinney
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Feel the Same), 4 (Seeing It)
Do Not Play: 6 (Blame), 9 (Spiral), 12 (Hate and Control)
Written by Madeline Connor on 11/29/2017