Bully have a knack for creating great little pop-rock songs and ‘Trying’ is exactly that. They exist in the same sort of genre as Speedy Ortiz or the Breeders, especially with their liking of the familiar quiet-loud-quiet structure. Singer Alicia Bognanno has that special ability to go from sickly-sweet words to this gravelly screamer that knocks you off your feet the first time you hear it. She sings ‘Been praying for my period all week / and relief that I just can’t see’ and ‘Trying / to hide from my mind’ which are familiarly personal lyrics for Bully as this is where they excel – uncomfortable truths. And then there’s the instrumentation.
They favour the tried-and-tested Pixies structure, with the verses consisting of quiet guitars, bass and drums, then it gets furious and grungy in the choruses. There isn’t anything special about the playing, which is a disappointment considering the strength of the lyrics. There is a little bridge of a riff which limps into the next chorus without a trace. But then it’s all ok because the final chorus ends with a series of guttural shouts from Bognanno to top things off nicely. It’s a fun pop-rock song and showcases a real talent for knocking them out left, right and centre. If Bully can continue with the groove they settled into on their 2014 EP, the upcoming album ‘Feels Like’ could be a real slice of pop-rock excellence.