Bully has already released three albums before the current long player ‘Lucky For You.’ The last two albums were released while I was working at Dodo Beach record store in Berlin. I do remember the album covers, but they didn’t leave a lasting impression on me musically. That might not necessarily be due to the music itself, but rather because I never actually listened to the albums in the first place. Given the abundance of releases that hit the record shelves every week, even an enthusiastic music listener like me occasionally misses out on great bands and albums.
An ode to alternative rock of the ’90s
Right after listening to the first song ‘All I Do’ I can’t get rid of the feeling that my unintended ignorance was a mistake. The gritty sound carried by Alicia Bognanno’s raw voice that is reminiscent of ’90s college rock immediately captivates me. The whole album exudes a lot of ’90s nostalgia, and by that, I don’t mean the unbearable Eurodance, but rather that rugged alternative rock that made me a music fan back in the days. The Breeders often come to mind as a reference while listening to the songs, which is probably due to the similarity between the voices of Alicia Bognanno and Kim Deal. Speaking of the ’90s… there’s often a substantial dose of grunge present in the songs, garnished with a touch of shoegaze or dream pop.
Mourning the deceased dog and best friend
While Dave Grohl attempts to process the sudden death of Taylor Hawkins on the Foo Fighters’ recently released ‘White Album’, Alicia Bognanno focuses on her deceased dog and, according to her own statement, best friend, Mezzi. It may not be directly comparable, but you can hear her pain between the lines. In ‘A Wonderful Life’ she sings:
“What a wonderful life My heart’s breaking on the bathroom floor Begging for time, I want a little more I miss you waiting outside the door And I want my baby girl back If you ask me, she was gone too soon I’m left writing in an empty room Searching for her in the moon.“
Reduced from a band to a solo project for the first time, Bognanno presents an absolute highlight of alternative rock that leaves a lasting impression with its raw and gritty sound. I guess I definitely need to listen to her previous works to see if they are equally fantastic.
Vinyl of the Week on black vinyl or as a Loser Edition
As usual with vinyl releases from Sub Pop you have the choice between two different editions: there is regular black vinyl and the so-called Loser Edition, which is available for every Sub Pop album. Bully’s album is being released on translucent blue curacao vinyl. The term Loser Edition dates back to the founding of the label in the mid-1980s. “To be a loser is central to the very idea of underground art and culture – all of it happening and thriving outside of the mainstream, and not necessarily looking for a way in.”