Concert Review: Bully and Smut

Smut by German R.

This past weekend was a fantastic weekend for one of Houston’s best venues, Walter’s. We start off on Saturday which included two great bands, Bully and Smut, that eventually lead to two stunning performances. The night was opened by the Cincinnati noise-pop and shoegaze five-piece better known as Smut. Consisting of singer Taylor Roebuck, Andrew Min, Sam Ruschman, Chris Campbell, and Bell Cenower, they have been playing for some years now mainly around the midwest and northern circuit. It was their first time in Houston, but they were playing in a decently sized crowd for a smaller venue (near capacity). They mentioned their love for our skyline and hot dogs, and afterward, they went straight down to serious business. Smut has released two albums with their latest album, End of Sam-soon, being released late October of this year. Going in I was unsure of what to expect of the quintet, but they definitely came to play their hearts out with a certain style that is reminiscent of the alternative bands of the early-90’s. The lead singer specifically was hypnotizing with her Daria-esque (that 90’s MTV cartoon) look and her vocals that were beautifully delicate at times while raspy with growls at other times. Smut opened with style and in pure shoegaze fashion. They are a band that should be on any noise-pop fan’s radar if they are not already.

Smut by German R.

Bully by German R.

The headlining act was none other than the four-member act straight out of Nashville, Bully. Lead by the ever so talented Alicia Bognanno, The band was touring to promote their latest album, Losing, that was released a couple of months ago. They have been hard at work since it has been a while since their last release which was in 2015 with Feels Like. Alicia was a vital piece in the production and engineering of their latest project as she has a degree in audio engineering and once interned for Steve Albini’s studio in Chicago. Without a doubt, their album was well received and demonstrated Bully’s signature upbeat alt. rock with Alicia’s amazingly contained screams. Their performance was a full show of force to their endless potential. Taking cues from the famous grunge bands of the past, Bully plays to their strengths with heavy distortion and fast-paced drums and strums. They played all their hits such as “Trying”, “Milkman”, and my personal favorite “Trash”. They ended the show with a cover of a hardcore song with Alicia putting down her guitar and going full Henry Rollins. I suggest rock listeners take a dive next time these Nashvillers come to town.

Bully by German R.

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