Bullyrag - Songs of Praise

Finally, after a seemingly endless set of support gigs, the Bullyrag album has been released. Many of the songs are pretty familiar by now, but it’s time to finally be able to settle down with them and get intimate. And there’s also some new friends to make while we’re at it. If you’ve seen them already, then you’ll maybe think you know what to expect, a mixed up hotch potch of styles, done in the modern way. Rock, rap, reggae, dance etc. But this album adds some new flavours to the brew as well, a prime example being Summer Daze.

You should already be familiar with the singles, LearnToLive, Jump Up In A Fashion and the best of the bunch, Frantic. Wild mixtures which all take a little time before they settle and the pattern becomes obvious.

If You Can Have Me is the first of the surprises compared to live Bullyrag. A more restrained sound, laid back and more of a sensible choice for a single or so it would seem. At least until it gets to the middle when a section as heavy as anything they’ve done thunders in. Before it returns mellow again.

This continues this theme, more restrained, giving Robbie the chance to show off the voice. It almost does sound like a different band to the one that you see live. Maybe Ming The Merciless lookalike Dave’s not quit figured how to adapt his dance style behind that samplers set of his to fit this. Still, it is a glorious song.

Summerdaze follows these pair up, and is the third fairly refrained song in a row, which might be a mistake. But once more, there’s no doubting that it’s a good song. Possibly my favourite on here at the moment. Plague is next up. Starting out slowly again. It’s another good song, but by now the middle section of the album is begining to feel bogged down a little bit. We’ve started franticly (sorry), slowed down, and will probably end in an upbeat manner again. Anyway, Frantic is next, and still sounds good, before two tracks from the live set which finally I get to hear properly. It Makes Me Laugh and Wishing. Brilliant songs. Especially Wishing. And they are more upbeat, though the album does end on a more introspective note with I Will Learn. Before the Faux Pas that is. Boom Boom Marijuana is the Hidden Track Syndrome. There is no excuse for HTS. Nope, none.

There is still a tendency to feel that sometimes there’s too much going on in some of the songs, and there’s an attempt to throw in another style, or another twist for the sake of it. And that makes it harder to listen to. Which may be the point entirely. And it remains to be seen how well such an eclectic sound will fair for the band, especially being on a major label with all those expectations. And I’ve wanted to use the word eclectic in a review for a long time now, and I’ve just managed to use it twice. Result.