While Mike Skinner may have fashioned the waffle of rave Herberts into an articulate expression of lower-middle class life, Audio Bullys have a long way to go. Their trudging housey-garage version of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ may have trundled into the Top 10, yet the rest of their album doesn’t display anything like the inventiveness
of their single’s sampling source.
‘Generation’ is a bit like listening to your older brother’s dealer mate taking a long and boring detour down the white line highway. It’s coke and designer clothing: boorish without the charm of Jay-Z, threatening without the impoverished credentials of 50 Cent. Their plodding house hasn’t the inventiveness of Daft Punk, Todd Edwards or Underground Resistance. Indeed, for a genre that once sounded astonishingly futuristic, it is quite remarkable how tired and old house sounds now. In the Audio Bullys’ hands it is the soundtrack to Mondeo Man’s midlife crisis: after he’s stopped clubbing but before he’s realised he should settle down. Audio Bullys are the Guy Ritchie of hip-house and ‘Generation’ is the kind of thing you expect to be blaring from a pimp-out Vauxhall Astra during a fight outside a Guildford kebab house. Remember, kids, together we can stop bullying. The first step this month lies down the record shop. Alex Rayner