Not much changes on Bully's sophomore album Losing.Sub Pop, 2017
6.6 / 10
Although they signed with Columbia for their first album, Feels Like, Bully sounded like an indie band. After all, not too many bands in the mainstream spotlight make music with a ’90s alt-rock edge anymore. Now, it’s synths and drum machines. But Bully prefer old school rock, and they do it very well. Now, the band lands at Sub Pop, a match made in heaven, for their sophomore album, Losing. Put their first album title together with this one and you get “Feels Like Losing.” While frontwoman Alicia Bognanno’s angsty vocals may imply this, it certainly feels like the band is winning with all of their success.
Lead single, “Feel The Same” serves as a reintroduction to Bully. It gives us everything we loved about the first Bully album. It has the ’90s alt-rock melodies and Alicia Bognanno’s impassioned yells. And not much changes from there. If you hear one Bully song, you know what you’re getting with the next Bully song. Bognanno and the band like to get into a groove and sit on it while she sings/screams her agony over anxiety and broken relationships. It’s simple enough rock, definitely from another time, and thank Bognanno for giving it the respect it deserves. However, Bully still haven’t hit their stride yet. They still haven’t made their definitive album yet.
Though, the album does have plenty of strong moments. “Kills To Be Resistant” details how forgoing your emotions is a painful undertaking. Here, she sings, “When I’m around you, I try and keep my distance/ I try and be respectful, it kills to be resistant.” On “Guess There”, Bognanno pushes past anger after a relationship’s end. After all, she has someone to keep her company. She sings, “Well, my pet says/ I’m a winner/ Yeah, but lately I feel like/ I’ve been losing touch with her.” One thing Bognanno is not losing touch with is the type of music she makes. Still, a little more variety might make Bully sound more formidable than they already are.