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The Bug - London Zoo

The Bug, London Zoo

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

THE Bug is better known as producer Kevin Martin and London Zoo marks his second solo full-length release. But it’s an angry, monotonous listen that left me feeling drained.

The album was born of three key moments. An introduction to the thriving Dub-Step scene (of which The Bug was very much a pioneer before it carried a name) and its key producers where Kevin realised there were others on the same sonic trajectory as himself; an introduction to Warrior Queen via his work with Wayne Lonesome on the Razor X Productions project; and a Mary Anne Hobb’s Breezeblock session which introduced him to Flowdan (Roll Deep) and Ricky Ranking. All three figure heavily in the end result and live presentation, as to a wealth of MCs, including reggae legend Tippa Irie and Aya.

But unless you have a deep appreciation for urban beats and an underground vibe, you might find the ensuing journey a very difficult – even tiresome – one to take.

The guest MCs certainly impose their personalities on proceedings but all are in keeping with the dub theme that runs throughout – and which occasionally comes to sound repetitive and depressing.

Coupled with lyrics that lash out at everything from Hurricane Katrina to suicide bombers (on album opener Angry, arguably the best track) or street crime (the foreboding Murder Me, featuring Ricky Rankin), it’s an openly provocative LP in many ways.

The emergence of Roll Deep’s Flowdan at around the halfway point merely plays up the urban vibe, while Spaceape underlines the grouchy nature of proceedings on the heavy-hitting rant-athon that is Fuckaz.

But while some of what The Bug has to say is undoubtedly thought-provoking and right on the money, the unrelenting nature of the lyrics and the dub-step beats eventually wore me down rather than proving inspiring. The overall result was distinctly unimpressive.

Track listing:

  1. Angry – Bug & Tippa Irie
  2. Murder We – Bug & Ricky Ranking
  3. Skeng – Bug & Killa P/Flow Dan
  4. Too Much Pain – Bug & Ricky Ranking/Aya
  5. Insane – Bug & Warrior Queen
  6. Jah War – Bug & Flowdan
  7. Fuckaz – Bug & Spaceape
  8. You And Me – Bug & Roger Robinson
  9. Freak Freak – Bug (4)
  10. Warning – Bug & Flowdan
  11. Poison Dart – Bug & Warrior Queen
  12. Judgement – Bug & Ricky Ranking

  1. i can’t believe what you’re writing. i mean, this is surely not everybody’s cup of tea. and although i like this album very much, i wouldn’t mind if you gave it 3 or only 2,5 because of that. but 1 out of 5 means that this is unlistenable shit. you can’t be true on that. there are lots of worse records out there, with bad songs which have got an even worse production. if you’re not into this kind of music – and to me it seems you aren’t – why then do you write a review on this album?

    harakiri    Jul 16    #