Gig Seeker Pro


Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"New Albums"

"Life should have a soundtrack.
Relationships should have make-out
music. Break-ups should have theme
songs. Bullyclub has written an
emotionally charged, musical script to
cover all the bases… showcasing beautiful
constraint and liquid poetry…".
- -Boston Sound Check Magazine

"Night Notes"

“…well written lyrics, tight compositions,
and understated guitar licks help
Bullyclub distinguish itself… Cowan
strings words together like an
abstractionist… ’Dummy’ brilliantly
- -Portland Press Herald

"Tenderhooks Album Review"

It’s official. Bullyclub are the most underrated band in Portland.

Their new album is testament to their abilities at crafting sweet hooks, witty turns of phrase, and off-beat melancholy in the name of just slightly countrified alt-pop. So, why aren’t they on the cover of the paper? Well, they probably should be, but the Bully boys have never gone in for self promotion, and they’ve chosen the week of the Skinny’s closure for their CD-release show. Plus, they’re so indie rock. Like another band that guitarist Jose Ayerve plays with, Spouse, Bullyclub excel at making the most out of minimal guitars, reserved drums (from John Nunan), and understated vocals (from principal lyricist and lead singer Doug Cowan, whose vocal style is remarkably similar to Ayerve’s on some tracks). “Devil Only Knows” is a great marriage of melodies dancing in and around one another, balancing the low and high ends, interspersing “Smoke on the Water”–’70s riffs with delicate notes from what sound like wind chimes.

“Waiting” opens with a 1-2-3 bounce, very simple and quiet (not unlike the Ponys’ “Necktie”) in the first go ’round of the first verse (“I am still/ I am still waiting/ Waiting for her”), then picking up with some melody from the electrics and the drums. During the chorus (“In the goodness of time/ All of this will be mine/ All of this is just fine”) Cowan makes use of his voice to great effect, and afterward some light keyboards, resonating like a chord organ, filter in for balance. It’s a beautiful, melancholy pop song.

Like on Coldplay’s latest disc, Bullyclub constantly build songs from simple beginnings, then strip them down into melodic pieces. Some songs might be a little slow in the building (“Steady Shaky”), and others might be a little too straight ahead (the opening “Hello”), but the slight country feel lent to this version of rock generally keeps things interesting. “The Trouble with Waiting” features a sweet turn from Cerberus Shoal’s Erin Davidson; “Wooden Rocker” sounds just like its title, laid back but still rockin’; and “Schroeder” leads with a dreamy guitar riff as played underwater, the slurred vocals telling the story of Schroeder and Lucy’s strange half-courtship.

The standout here, however, is “Nightmares Are Good Things.” Sounding distinctly like it could have come off Rhett Miller’s (Old 97s) recent solo debut The Instigator the quiet/heavy balance is just right, Cowan’s vocals are precise, and the lyrics don’t disappoint: “I am the rubber, and you are so glue/ People bounce right off, and they stick onto you/ My nightmares are good things that happen to you.” - Portland Phoenix

"Likesongs album review"

After nearly three years of foot dragging, Portland’s “little band that could,” Bullyclub, finally unveil their first CD release, Likesongs; reminding long-time fans and the uninitiated alike why brainy, guitar-driven pop, though not necessarily fashionable (least of all in local music circles), is still pretty darned cool.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Doug Cowan (Between Dreams, Pluck Theatre), drummer John Nunan, and bassist Mark McDonough formed the band in the late-’90s, drawing unavoidable comparisons for their emotive lyrics and unabashed, but intelligent, big-guitar swagger, to Bob Mould’s power trio, Sugar. Although Bullyclub’s studio outing boasts a bit less crunch in the guitar work and more caffeine than adrenaline in the delivery, time and attention taken in the production of Likesongs yields a refreshingly balanced sound for the band.

On loan from regional pop darlings Spouse, José Ayérve contributed additional instrumentation and his ear for expanding solid but stalled arrangements. And the CD’s final mastering at the hands of Colin Decker (Lincolnville, The Shelia Devine) at Mworks in Cambridge, Massachusetts left the overall production of Likesongs clean and warm.

The vulnerability and reluctant nostalgia of the lyrics and the well-worn pop song structures ring familiar, but many cuts off Likesongs introduce new and disarming little hooks that reward a closer listen. Check out the delicate keyboard accompaniment in “Sickiss,” the quiet percussion in “Laundromat Lullaby,” and the intertwining guitars and harmonies in “Dummy.” Likesongs begins to lose steam toward its middle with the plodding “Leonard Cohen’s Bones” and the unfortunately just plain awful “Sad Assassin Sat,” but regains its feet with “Fail Better,” perhaps the CD’s most fully-formed offering. With its infectious bass line, noodle-free guitar dueling, catchy “na-na-na-na” vocal fills, and smart writing (“That picture locked in your locket/And the ring stuck in my front pocket/I was waltzing but she was a rocket/My great white hope”), “Fail Better” is simply great pop. Likesongs presents a slightly updated Bullyclub, and was, in all, well worth the wait. - Portland Phoenix


likesongs - 2001

1. Fourth of Never
2. Sickiss
3. Sol is High
4. Pick...
5. Laundromat Lullaby
6. Dummy
7. Leonard Cohen's Bones
8. Sad Assassin Sat
9. Babbleluck
10. Fail Better [MP3]*
11. Minutes of the Last Meeting
Bonus track: St. Valentine's [MP3]

Tenderhooks - 2003

1. Hello
2. Devil Only Knows
3. Waiting [MP3]*
4. The Trouble With Waiting
5. Cheap Blue Tattoo
6. Steady Shaky
7. Wooden Rocker
8. Schroeder
9. Nightmares Are Good Things
10. Florida, Maine
11. Soccer Mom/Dandelion

Babbleluck - 2006

1. Assisted Living
2. Rocket
3. Shinola
4. Dandelion
5. Down Low
6. Twice on Sunday
7. Can't Hardly Wait
8. Sick
9. Paper Cuts
10. Heavier Than Metal

Greetings From Area Code 207 - Volume VI
released: 11.2005
Featuring: Rocket

Volume IV
released: 11.2003
Featuring: Hello

Volume III
released: 11.2002
Featuring: Cheap Blue Tattoo

Several tracks in rotation on WCLZ



Bullyclub are a hard band to pin down. Neither a group of practicing bullies nor a collection of recovering meanies, they are instead a four-piece band that revels in making unapologetically melodic, literate guitar pop music. Music that can be big or little. It can be dense or simple. It’s like indie-rock that’s all grown up, or a singer-songwriter having a real bad day.

Singer/songwriter Doug Cowan found his voice in the wretched wasteland of 80’s Maine, sharpening his lyrical & visceral guitar chops on a succession of albums with Between Dreams and as the prime force in local heroes Pluck Theatre. Meanwhile, British born John Nunan toured Europe for 10 years as singer of The Omega Party before relocating to the safety of Portland, ME and the Bully drum stool in ‘97. Along with bassist Mark McDonough they formed the original nucleus of the band, then known as Bully Pulpit.

1999 saw the addition of genius guitarist/keyboard Jose Ayerve. Spanish speaking Ayerve also fronts his own outfit, the schizophrenic-pop band, Spouse as well as being an accomplished Engineer/producer.

2004 found the Bullies back in the studio for their third release. Josh Denkmire, formerly of Houston, Texas, joined on bass and Mark moved to guitar.