BULLY Live @ Neumos
Feb. 28, 2018
By Ian Bremner, Old Rookie
The last time Nashville grunge-punk rockers Bully were in town, it was a one-off, pseudo-announcement/showcase gig at Ballard’s Sunset Tavern to celebrate their signing to Sub Pop Records. At it, the band played mostly to new and existing fans and employees from their new label. They debuted a few new tunes, but the show felt like an introduction to some extent; a housewarming party for the new neighbors. On Feb. 28 at Neumos, Seattle will get the full Bully treatment.
A lot has changed for Bully in the last few months, too. The group’s second LP, Losing, arrived to critical acclaim and even more fan excitement. This time, they are coming into their Neumos set as some of rock ‘n roll’s darlings.
These accolades are fully warranted. Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno delivers raw energy with a signature snarl, her raspy admissions and proclamations highlighted by fuzzy pop guitar hooks above solid bass and drum rhythms. Clayton Parker on the guitar and Reece Lazarus on bass provide a steady wave of backing noise and the perfect vehicle for Bognanno to deliver the gut punches. Keeping it authentic and DIY still, Losing was tracked to analog tape at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, where Bognanno once interned and learned to record, produce and engineer, which she has done for the first two Bully records.
Looking around town, it’s hard to find remnants of the 90’s grunge period that put Seattle on the musical map. Nevertheless, it’s easy to see why a band who sounds like Bully does so well here. There’s an aggression and angst to Bognanno’s voice that recalls some of those Northwest vocal legends like Sub Pop’s own famous son Kurt Cobain. 2018 is clearly a different musical climate, but we need rock n roll more than ever. So many people are drawn to Bully because of their ability to bridge the gap between those glory days of yesteryear and today’s rock n roll needs.
Buy tickets Bully’s Feb. 28 show at Neumos with Melkbelly and Summer Cannibals at Neumos Feb 28
Read Ian’s review of “Losing”