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Bully In The Hallway – Crooks And Their Castles (Self-Released)

11 December 2011

For fans waiting for the mighty Naked Raygun to release a new full-length, keep waiting. But if the anticipation is too much to bear, then this is certainly for you. While Bully In The Hallway doesn’t have the buzzsaw guitars of John Haggerty or the metallic crunch of Bill Stephens, lead singer John Matthew Simon’s voice and vocal phrasing is uncannily akin to that of Jeff Pezzati’s. And like any good punk rock, there’s some political commentary. Obviously, capitalism was going to be a theme in an album titled Crooks And Their Castles and the consumerism lamenting in “Life Is Money” delivers while being super melodic with the poignant, catchy refrain of “Don’t spend it all in one place,”. “Blatant Persuasion” is another track that instantly jumps out with its mantra “We got three words to live by/Deny, deny, deny,” with even some Raygun-esque “whoa-oh” action in there. The album reaches its most aggressive point on “Advice”, where guitarist Billy Kenefick asserts himself with not just his axe (there is a very nimble lick towards the end of the track) but his capable background vocals. Crooks is bursting with energy, excitement, and hooks. This only being Bully’s second full-length, the album proves that this is a band to keep an eye on.