Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Former Bullies - Stranger

We are an enlightened and progressive lot here at WYMA, and we'd be among the last you would expect to encourage you to support bullies.  But we believe in the power of redemption, as well.  So in the matter of Manchester's Former Bullies, we offer our unqualified support and endorsement.  It isn't just that, according to their name, any unseemly, aggressively dominating activity is in the past, it also in a very major way is due to the fact that they create the sort of lo-fi, jangling garage rock that is as vital to our existence as the air we breathe and the beer we drink.  You know -- the essentials of life.

On Stranger, Former Bullies' new album for CF Records and Towed By The Ghost, main man Nick Ainsworth has fashioned eleven songs with the leftover emotional parts from the termination of a long romantic relationship, glued together with an affirmation of life and some very jaunty hooks and melodies.  It may have originated with some open wounds, and built in the garage (or more likely, the basement), but as a slice of guitar pop, it runs like a top-flight, fully warrantied machine.  There are echoes of '60s guitar pop here, and even some surf rock touches on some songs (including the title track).  Concision is important, with the less-than-three-minutes running time ensuring that no nugget overstays its welcome.  It always is better to invite your listeners to hit the replay button rather than the skip button.  A couple of the songs are provided below, but we think every song on the album is a keeper.  So give the streams below a play, but we recommend following the Bandcamp links and living with the albums for a while.  I expect you'll want to take them home and make them part of your life.

Former Bullies are Nick Ainsworth (guitar/vocals), Matthew Taylor (bass) and Tom Settle (drums/guitar/vocals).  Stranger is the band's fourth album, and you can get it at the Bandcamp links below.

CF Records' Bandcamp page for Stranger

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