I really like the word ‘bully’, just as a word. It’s kind of a sentimental and infantile word which still brings with it some of the force and rawness of childhood that your beautiful sense of nostalgia might have bleached out. In nostalgia world it was only ever always kind of sunny or snowing at Christmas and Bully’s debut EP sinks meaningfully into that world without forgetting some of the realness of it.
‘Brainfreeze’ is the first track on the EP and demonstrates Bully’s peppy, buzzy variety of sunshine-punk. The song is about climbing on the roof which I never did because my roof is really steep, but now it feels like I did. The sugar-rush vocals, bristling with childlike exuberance and lyrics, which take us through stories of milkshakes and bleeding knees, combine with the lo-fi guitar lines, breezy without being inconsequential, to create a song that is probably what Bully’s members wish their nine-year old selves had written in the 90s because that’s what it would have been about and that’s how it would have sounded. But it just sounds so fresh and vibrant. Even when the tone shifts, becoming slightly darker towards the end of track with the line ‘I know you’re in your room/but I can’t look at you’, vocalist Alicia Bognanno carries it off in such a way that it’s still the song you sing to yourself as you skateboard your way through a couple of flower beds.
The whole EP is a real treat and available here