Bullyheart is a project by singer songwriter Holly Long that seeks to explore her love for early 80’s rock and roll.
The blurb on her website talks about rebellion, intensity, love, anger, disdain, power and humility – great buzzwords and provocative all, but what does it actually translate into?
Those thinking that it’ll translate into aggressive, loud and animalistic music will be disappointed. Antigravity is more Jack Johnson than Marilyn Manson, with the preppy, poppy style of music and the soft lyrics that contradict the often darker lyrical side of the album.
Antigravity was two years in the making, and it certainly sounds like something that has had a lot of thought put into it. From the backing musicianship, where element of the prog/psychedelic rock sound does come into the picture, to the measured lyrical delivery from Long, it sounds calculated and well produced.
Bullyheart may say this is a rock and roll record, but it’s not – not really. The soft lyrical delivery and the way the music is played might have elements of country rock, at best. It would be more accurate to say that Antigravity sounds like Eliza Doolittle wondered into a fun drum and guitar rehearsal and started jammin’.
Antigravity is the first song on the album, and it’s probably the one that grabs you the most from the outset and forces you to listen. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it’s preppy, upbeat and the type of song that threatens to brighten up your day when it’s all going a bit wrong.
One thing that does come through on the album is the range of musical sounds that Bullyheart are able to bring to the table. Panic Attack is a clear example of this, and Long’s lyrical delivery sacrifices some of the crystal clear clarity to inject some more pace into the song. The song ends up sounding like something that could have come from a Long Blonds album – it’s upbeat, pacey and is again an infectious tune.
Where the album sometimes falls down is the overreliance on the power of the vocals to pull the song with it. If it could capture the spirit of songs like Antigravity and Panic Attack and ride the wave of infectious pop the album would be a real hum-dinger, but fair play to Bullyheart who clearly wanted to stay true to the type of music they wanted to produce.
This is an album that revels in the strength of their lead singer. Long’s voice is clear and has a striking range of sounds that set her apart from other signers and bands. The different types of songs that Bullyheart are able to product is impressive, but it sometimes leads the music to have a slightly disjointed feel about it. However, if ever there was a crime in music or a sure way to make bad music, this isn’t it – and Long and her band should be proud of the music they have produced.
– Seth Gruber