We Never Asked For This – Bully in the Hallway

We Never Asked For This is our short review of a band who thought (or their label/manager/agent/girlfriend thought) that it would be a good idea to send us an email saying “like me! like me! like me!” (more or less).

As we noted in yesterday’s post, our inbox it overfloweth with unsolicited material.  Today’s blind submission is from Chicago post punk band Bully in the Hallway.

Crooks and Their Castles is a fun romp of a record that makes us think of Jawbreaker and Voice in the Wire without sounding particularly like either one of those fine bands, but rather occupies that same feeling of optimistic fist pumping (in a decidedly non-Jersey Shore context) and youthful abandon.  Driving guitar anthems with soaring choruses that occasionally recall the more straight forward moments of Braid.  While definitely more “punk” and “rock” than that band ever was, CaTC still demonstrates a similar sense of guitar interplay and approach to melody that helps distinguish the band from the sea of a million punk rock bands, but it’s punk influences also help make it stand out from the equally overpopulated post hardcore/first wave emo scene.  In the mid to late 90’s it seemed that every band on the planet was attempting to transition from punk (or grunge) to a more sophisticated musical expression of the Sunny Day Real Estate variety.  CaTC sounds like a band that managed to find a space between the two. At their heart, Bully in the Hallway is smart punk rock.  Smart lyrically, musically and emotionally – and what appealed to the smart teen or early twenty-something in you that made you find something more meaningful than the mosh pit will still appeal to the older you.  One caveat to everything I’ve just said though is the song “Walk of Shame” which is God awful in every way.  Clearly a joke song it still provides one of the most disappointing moments on record I’ve heard all year.  I have no idea why they would include it.  Check out the infinitely better song, and lead single “Life is Money” below and grab the otherwise great album here.

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