Monday, February 13, 2006

Audio Bullys / Generation / Rating: 2.7

Here's an idea: Wait, there it went.

Back in 2003 PFM writer Nitsuh Abebe said this about the Audio Bullys:

"They could be the next Basement Jaxx, wrapping house music around a dozen genres-- rock, hip-hop, R&B, UK garage-- cranking out purified pop from their blender. They could be the next Streets, packing up a street-level vision of Brit boylife and mailing it out on bumping beats. They could christen a new genre-- "hooligan house?""

Those words couldn’t be any more accurate and to the point.

Fast forward to the 2006 Audio Bullys review and per the norm I only sort of know what Sam Ubl is talking about. Thank God for the trusty number rating system because without that I would be spending hours or precious time trying to brush up on my Woody Allen analogies which apparently were scrapped for something Sam calls "Sublime Syndrome". I know even less about the band Sublime so the whole opening paragraph of this review is lost on me. I didn’t see School of Rock either so color me clueless.

PFM goes onto say:

“But Audio Bullys don't request attention, they irrupt into your headphones like a drunk at a curry house, usually bullhorning pep rally piffle like, "You are now entering the mode of the Audio Bullys." “

(You know how those drunks in a curry house can be. ? ! Piffle isn't in my sub par dictionary either. I knew I should have taken more SAT vocab classes.)


Generation makes you appreciate ketamine's bottomless suction or space disco's eternal ascent.”

(I had no idea ketamine = special K…I had to look that up. I am neither an animal vet or a drug user, what do I know?)


“But Audio Bullys chase Bombay Sapphire, not white rabbits, tracing a pedestrian trajectory: It's all good 'till you puke or someone gets his nose hairs burnt.”

(I clearly don’t do enough drugs or watch enough movies to appreciate any of this review but the use of chase and trace would make any poet applaud)

Can you hear the crickets in my head…and two sentences starting with “But”?

I swear I am not an idiot, my IQ is actually 159 but this goes beyond a typical IQ test. This whole review is a test of patience and Sam’s decadent use of the English language strangles the whole purpose of a music review. So umm….what does this cd actually sound like?

In situations like this I like to ask myself, what would short story writer Raymond Carver do? To quote the man himself he would say “Get in, get out, don’t linger, go on.” That guy didn’t fuck around. With a drink in one hand he got to the heart of the matter and fast. ..oh and he didn’t write like it was a party favor for the gifted child society.

I also remember an English teacher back in high school (honors English Yo!) scolding me for writing papers that assumed too much of the reader and I am pretty sure while an elite group of music journalist workshop friends might appreciate this PFM review, those not working towards a master in counter culture and sarcasm might be left in the dust.

At least salvation can found in Sam’s final paragraph. Angels may not be singing but this is as close to the direct point as Sam gets.

Generation is a sonic mess, all weightless synth swish, dull beats, and maybe-ironic midi horns.”

Okay now we are getting somewhere but in the end it is still the 2003 PFM review I turn to for my final thoughts. Audio Bully’s had their chance to be better than just the next Basement Jaxx or The Streets but they blew it. They didn’t just sort of miss the mark, the pissed while yawning all over their own two “Block Rockin’ Beats”. Seriously didn’t at least one person at Astralwerks here “Eq-ing” and have a Chemical Brothers déjà vu?

The Stylus review of Generation puts my overall feelings to words perfectly:

“Rare is the sophomore record that makes you question why you liked the debut in the first place, but that's where my first listen to Generation led me.”

Generation is really that mid tempo, lyrically speaking live journal fall flat bad.

I’m going to try to leave this on a positive note and suggest a quote from Audio Bullys’ “Get Myself on Track”

“The future looks much brighter than those bad yesterdays. I’m not saying that they are all bad but tomorrows another day.”

Indeed and better luck next time fellas. I hear threes a charm.