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June 20, 2024

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Audio Bullys
Ego War (Source)

By: Cam Lindsay

Last year, Mike Skinner, under the name The Streets, owned urban music in the UK with the untouchable Original Pirate Material. The album set a certain standard for UK acts that has raised the level numerous notches. This year, it will be Audio Bullys' Ego War that will set the tone. While Skinner's diet of garage (aka two step in the U.S.), hip-hop and reggae went down without any hitches, Simon Franks and Tom Dinsdale's balance of hip-hop, house and ska are even more bankable. Ego War sees the duo embrace their West London culture, and make it a household product for any outsiders. While it may be hard for many to relate, it's hard to deny the sheer thrills seeping out of the music. "We Don't Care" is an immediate classic dance tune, crossing The Specials working class, London skattitude with Basement Jaxx-brand house. Even more engaging is the electro-tinged, shady, street anthem "Real Life". Of course, Audio Bullys aren't flawless, and some cracks show. "100 Million" shows their youth still lingers like a mean stink, with a silly "what if?" premise that includes a rather embarrassing lyric involving a conversation with mommy dearest. ""Veteran" as well, features some poor choices, namely a feeble attempt at singing a heartfelt chorus. However, in the end, when you look at all of the skill these two young men have, like the fabulous pop potential of "The Things", their minor errors can easily be forgiven without a care in the world. A-
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