It’s not too terribly often that you get word of a pop-punk band like young four piece, Bully who have origins in Nashville. But this group, led by front woman Alicia Bognanno, hail from Tennessee and have put together an album filled with crunchy punk guitar hooks with catchy pop choruses and beyond powerful vocals that will grab you by the collar and not let go for its entirety.
“I Remember” is the opening track to end all opening tracks– it’s a forceful introduction to the band’s sound. The fast paced percussion and shredding guitars are the first things you hear, and then you get Bognanno’s distorted and cutty vocals, which sound as though they may give out at any second as she screams out declarations of memories both crass and tender. There are also moments of reprieve on this number where these vocals are softened, but that is only for a second before you’re back with Bully as they rip though this punk-pop opener.
This first track is merely a bite of the bite that this band has in store for you on this debut album, and to me, the bite is where Bully shines the brightest. Songs that use the off/on switch to mix the two genres are the highlights for me, like “Trash.” This song is as about as metal as the band gets, starting slow, and the vocals are, dare I say, delicate, and then surging into the chorus with fiery heat and Bognanno’s growling vocals. Earlier on the record you get somewhat subtle, “Brainfreeze,” which falls third in the track order, and while the vocals are still grainy and gritty, this song is a bit more refined than the others. Here is where the band strikes the balance between punk and pop– this song sounds like what would happen if a punk band covered a radio ready pop song, which is far from a bad thing. Another definite highlight is late track, “Milkman,” which is a catchy track with a hardcore ending. The bulk of this album is a solid mix of tunes which will catch your ear with their unique sound.
Feels Like is a rapid fire blend of punk attitude mixed with the goodness of pop sensibility. For a debut album, it makes for a great introduction to Bully, and also a good summer album to turn up loud as the heat begins to turn up on us. I look to the future to see what Bully has in store for a sophomore effort.