Years ago, I received a piece of advice that I assumed was worldly wise: Whatever other professionals you might work with in management of your day-to-day affairs, make sure you have a mechanic you can trust. I suppose there’s truth in that, but now that I’ve amassed some additional decades of learned knowledge, I’ve amended the rule to better suit my personal priorities. Whatever you do in the world, make sure you’ve got a first-rate record store proprietor on your side.
Not so long ago, when visiting the actual happiest place on Earth, the person presiding over the magical realm put a CD in my hands, certain I would like it. The album was Losing, the sophomore effort by Bully. A Nashville band fronted by — and creatively dominated by — Alicia Bognanno, Bully makes precisely the sort of rampaging guitar, thumping rhythm, and howling vocal rock songs that have have been my greatest weakness since at least the first time I slipped a Hüsker Dü record over a spindle.
“Every Tradition” is the second advance single from Bully’s forthcoming third album, SUGAREGG, and it’s everything I want a track to be, beginning with the casually posed question “Shall we?” right before the song locks in properly. Bognanno says “Every Tradition” represents an attempt at fiercely direct songwriting, letting her anger and dissatisfaction loose. It’s explosive, raw, and right, and all wrapped up in a tidy three and half minutes.
My record store guy was right. He’s always right.