The term “post grunge” seems to carry a negative stigma with it nowadays, and not without good reason. Bands like Nickleback and 3 Doors Down have constantly released the same terribly written pop-rock songs while simultaneously laying claim to some amount of rock cred. With watered down instrumentals, a formulaic image, forced rasp and growls, and bland yet catchy guitar melodies, the entire sub-genre has become something of a joke.
Shinedown is a band that fits very nicely into the genre, which is rather unfortunate for them. Their last hits, Second Chance and If You Only Knew were both bland and soulless tracks that were absolutely raped by radio DJ’s. It made me dislike the band quite intensely. When I saw that they were releasing a new album, I cringed slightly and braced myself for yet another suckfest. However, when I head Bully, their latest single, I was quite surprised.
Bully seems to be more of a pop-metal than pop-rock. While the instrumentals are still quite formulaic, they do pack a heavier punch that any of their previous hits. The guitar riffs are heavier, and the drums are more intense, giving the track more presence. Although far from the best vocalist around, Brent Smith is capable on this track, and sings with enough conviction to make the song believable. With empowering lyrics about being bullied and disrespected, its clear that everyone will be able to relate. Although this song isn’t the biggest crowd mover around, you’ll feel quite at home head banging along.
While far from the best track around, Shinedown does please with Bully. Its miles better than any of their previous hits, and is a solid improvement on their watered down sound. With Bully, they manage to further distance themselves from the likes of Nickleback, which is always a good thing.