Tag Archives: Bully

Bully “Losing” | Review


bully_-_losing_600_600The current nostalgic love for the ’90s has latest nearly as long as the decade itself. The ripped jeans, Calvin Klein revival and of course the music are seemingly far from falling off the radar. Releasing one of 2015’s best debut albums Bully screamed their way onto the radar. It’s been two years since the perfect debut, and the long awaited sophomore album is here.

Losing is as simple and raw as the cover itself.

It’s an album for you to isolate yourself to, for you to drench yourself into the ripe hysteria of ’90s grunge, to lock the doors and listen all day. Alicia Bognanno, (singer and guitarist) doubles as the band’s producer. The intimate touches of Bognanno can be felt throughout each track. The expressive songs paired with the unique coarse rasp of her voice is a staple for the band and perhaps the most comparable to the ’90s king Kurt Cobain. The 2015 release recounted childhood memories and confessions. Losing is no different when taking on the at times uncomfortable truth of insecurities, taboo subjects and the unpleasantries of everyday life.

The Year’s Best Guitar Faces

Monster Truck - face

Everyone is releasing their end of year lists, so here’s one of mine. The best guitar faces of the year. What is a guitar face? Let me explain, you know that moment when the band is on stage, the crowd is overexcited and that song comes on and everyone just feels it? The togetherness, the bond, well if you spend all of your time watching the lead singer going to town you’re missing the real show. The guitarist the one to watch, the faces that appear are innocently  purely of someone in the moment, enjoying what they do and not caring about anything else. It’s that magical moment, and no one guitar face is quite like the other. So, enjoy the ones I’ve experienced thus far.

Bloody Guitarists and Epic Hair: Last Night with Bully

Monday night The Garrison held an interesting crowd. The venue was packed with those still recovering from the music festival weekend. Now after a weekend full of amazing bands, what could possibly lead people out to a show? Bully. Because if Bully comes to town, you sure as hell can’t miss it. Part of the first year-round NXNE showcase, including  Fake Limbs the night was surely going to be a good one. If you’ve heard the amazingness that is Bully’s debut album “Feels Like” then you’d probably expect a rowdy night ending in a few bruises. But as it turns out, aside from a few lazy head banging, you’ve probably never seen a rock crowd as calm as this.

In jean shorts and a shirt that didn’t fully fit, Fake Limbs started things off with some noise rock that began on stage and ended on the floor in the crowd. Sounds exciting, but it was really more of scene. Stephen Sowley ran off into the crowd mid-set and despite the crowd moving further away and the poor people he was whipping with the mic cord, he decided to stay there for the rest of the set. Ending under a stool in a sweaty gasping heap, he sure as hell gave it his all and no one can take that away from them.

 And let’s not forget the guitarist who bit down on a blood pack somewhere through Sowley’s in-crowd adventure.  Staying to the side of the stage, Bryan Gleason pulled attention in by bleeding down his chin and over his white guitar strap, y’know, as one does. The gimmicks were entertaining and whether you liked them or not, they definitely made themselves memorable.

Bully 5

The stage front was crowded as soon as the band took their places. As soon as Alicia Bognanno unleashed herself onto the crowd she mesmerized the already wound up audience. In short, they were exactly as amazing live as you’d expect. Sounding just as gritty and raw as they do in their album, Bully has nothing to prove and a long road ahead of them. As soon as the show was over, everyone was only wanting more. If you haven’t discovered Bully, you have no idea what you’re missing.

Concerts to Get You Through the Fall Blues

Alabama Shakes

Festival season is coming to an end, school is starting and the days are getting shorter. Stop and breathe, because the music scene is far from slowing down. The fall season is bringing some stellar acts to Toronto, with more names being announced each day, you’ll be breaking your piggy bank and wondering how you’re going to get any sleep in.

For those who like it slow, the witty stylings of The Tallest Man On Earth will be found on September 4th at Massey Hall with Lady Lamb as his opener; the singer-songwriter has added also a full-band to this leg of the tour to full capture the sound originally intended.

Rolling into town on a Technicolor horse decked in leather with a cigarette in hand, Daniel Romano will be gracing the MOD Club on November 11th. The multitalented country artist, not only doubles as a leather worker, but as a performance artist as well, adding an unexpected twist to each performance.

If country isn’t your style, no fear, playing The Horseshoe Tavern on November 11th is the highly anticipated BØRNS. It’s a surprise tickets are so cheap, coming in at $12, since the show is sure to sell out since it will be after the release of his debut album, Dopamine. It’s a perfect opportunity to see an emerging artist right before his big break.

A few seasoned Scottish boys will be taking over The Danforth Music Hall on September 16th. With the release of their new album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, The Fratellis will be playing their new charming mix of romantic alterna-rock heard on their newest release for Canadian fans. Another band with a recent release, Rah Rah! Will be celebrating their new album, Vessels by taking over The Horseshoe on September 11th. The Regina-bound band will be hosting their own show before an international tour, supporting the likes of Sam Roberts Band and Dear Rouge.

Albert Hammond Jr

Hey, Strokes fans this one is for you! I know you’re all probably still upset about the Julian Casablancas cancellation, but you can pick yourselves out of the gutter, Albert Hammond Jr is heading to The Opera House on September 17th. After a few US cancellations, Albert still has his sights set on the cozy Queen West venue where the intimidate atmosphere will be more than enough to fill your craving.

Now, the big ones. Incase you’ve been living under a rock, these are some shows you probably shouldn’t miss.

Just adding July Talk as their openers Alabama Shakes will be performing at the Air Canada Center on, which is a big score for the Toronto-based band. Known for their high-energy, much talked about performances, the addition has a lot of people anticipating an eye-catching set. Can’t make the show? Well, July Talk has also secured a headlining spot at the upcoming KOI Fest on September 25th.

After a quick venue change, James Bay will be playing Sound Academy in November. Still modestly priced, considering Echosmith will be opening along side Finish Ticket.

And the baby band to see has to be Bully. Releasing their self titled album this past year, the band has caused quite a stir. Savage hair-flipping, body shaking rock performances have rock fans ready to rush The Garrison later in the month.

So start scrimping, waiting in line and making excuses for your late work, some of the best are coming.

New Music: Bully – Feels Like

Take a long swig of beer, let down your hair and enthral yourself with Bully. Their debut album Feels Like is an album to runaway from home to. It’s sounds like the confessions of a troubled attention craving, teenage runaway who doesn’t have sobriety on the mind. The grungy sound has a slightly 70’s feel thanks to lead, Alicia Bognanno’s seductive-smoky voice, which is almost reminiscent to rock-goddesses of yesteryear, like Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. The four-piece set up, Bognanno, Stewart Copeland, Clayton Parker and Reece Lazarus capture the essence of grunge-rock flawlessly in each track—Feels Like is a perfect attempt to display what they’re capable of. The album is a truthful insight into the mind of a party girl and plays out each reality as if Bognanno is personally confessing the triumphs, struggles and, often, the zero fucks given.

The first track, I Remember, recants a drunken night involving sex, alcohol, and a lot of bad decisions. Trash is the most entailing songs on the album; seductive guitar bleeding into Bognanno’s rasping screams entrances you into the intoxicated mind of the persona in the album. Followed by Six, the song expresses a troubled home-life with a raw honesty tilling a sympathetic understanding. The final track Sharktooth, wraps up the album perfectly. Referencing broken-hearted parents, and the heartbreak followed by irresponsibility, it’s the perfected ending to an album, which feels like a story you know you shouldn’t like, but can’t stop listening to.