Album Review: Higher Than The Eiffel by Audio Bullys
Satisfactory, Based on 5 Critics
AllMusic - 70 Based on rating 7/10
A tad gun-shy after their lackluster sophomore album, Generation, Audio Bullys waited five years to release another album, but it shows them able to muster their distinctive talents -- courtesy of a world-wise frontman and a distinctive producer -- to put up numbers worthy of their debut nearly ten years earlier. Vocalist Simon Franks has finally found his groove, fortunately ignoring both rapping and the street-swagger of a Mike Skinner or Jamie T. ; here he's more of an elder statesman for British clublife, taking the role of Ian Brown or Shaun Ryder.
One imagines that Audio Bullys reveal everything that goes on in a typical rough and ready London lad’s mind. From aggression to repressed and awkward sentimentality, Audio Bullys are much more than just a dance act. But it must be said, despite the self-conscious but brilliant downtempo “I’m in Love” from 2005’s Generation, it’s those loutish, rough dance tracks that we skip to.
No one reveres British culture more so than its own working class, playing up to their uncouth stereotype with a dogged pride. It’s echoed on television with Paul Abbott’s Shameless, and on the big screen through practically any Danny Dyer film, fuelling the egos of boozed-up sociopaths and haughty louts on every ramshackle council estate block. Much of Audio Bullys’s output serves as a soundtrack to Britain’s pub-and-club culture, so frequent are the hamfisted references to wanton drinking and drugs.
Audio Bullys released their debut album, Ego War, in mid-2003. Prior to this, they released a mix that was given away free with the now sadly defunct Muzik magazine. It was entitled Hooligan House: The Sound of 2003. We might now be pushing a decade on, but that description still holds up very well ….
Worth seeking out for times when the Friday night feeling is sorely needed. Lou Thomas 2010 Audio Bullys were initially known for being the angry, loud epitome of early noughties hooligan house. Yet the duo have been fairly quiet since their frantic Nancy Sinatra revision Shot You Down smashed its way into the top three back in 2005. Half a decade is along time away, so the question for listeners to Tom Dinsdale and Simon Franks’ third album must be: what do Audio Bullys have to say about the recession-ravaged, mephedrone-addled Britain of today? In truth, not a lot.