|Album Review: The Bug – Angels and Devils|
Angels & Devils
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Kevin Martin, most commonly known as The Bug, is a popular musician in the UK music scene that just released an album titled Angels & Devils. Martin has made music under a slurry of different aliases for the past two decades, but The Bug has stayed dormant for the time being after a series of successes under those other names. This new work comes six years past his last album, London Zoo. Having made an energetic and aggressive previous album, Angels & Devils seems to partially fall short of where he left off.
Starting "Angels & Devils" off is a smoothly flowing song titled "Void". There are some very subtle vocals from Liz Harris that bring emotion to the whole track, yet are just barely heard over the actual music as they mash with the melody.
"The Fall" comes in with a pacing momentum as the second track on the album. What makes this track so chilling is the dark vocals of copeland. There is an ambient underlying tone that makes a serious start, but does not last long since as the song is only three minutes long.
What sounds heavily strung on "Ascension" is a tense tracks sound composure. The synth sizzled rhythm shakes the track repeatedly.
"Mi Lost" is easily one song on this album that seems more suspenseful than most. Miss Red's voice sounds soothing, but there is still a stalling feel that something more is coming.
"Pandi" drags on with little deliverance. This five minute song is an endless stretch of synths that drone on different frequencies.
The last soft and sobering song on the first half of Angels & Devils is "Save Me". Gonjasufi brings this music down one level of disparity before coming to a finish on a mellow mood.
What turns the album completely in a new direction is a collab that comes from Flowdan. "The One" turns instantly into a fast paced track with little friction.
"Function" starts on booming synths and erupting bass that twists the track in a new sound all together. The Bug teams up with Manga to make a maddening song where you feel indefinitely in doom.
Death Grips comes in on his usual spree of violent verses and gasping vocals that work wonderfully with The Bugs sound design. "Fuck a Bitch" is streamed with screechy notes and acid reverbs that make this song feel out right chaotic.
"Fat Mac" is a particularly dirty song that has a grinding bass. This track is Flowdan's second collaboration on the album, but is relatively the slowest and darkest.
"Fuck You" features Warrior Queen's aggressive lyrics that seem to be layered over a static beat. The pressure builds in this track like a slope, as The Bug works a final finish to drift away.
One of my favourite tracks on the album is the all out blow out "Dirty". The trap tuned track keeps you on the edge of your seat since the bass practically shakes you off. Flowdan's verse is just what the track needed to give it that last burst.
Overall, the entire twelve track album felt unevenly divided in two. The Bug starts the album as testimony to a softer side of himself with slow rhythms and simple sound structures, but at times this beginning falls short because the sound seems to alien to what he's done in the past. The second half, however, feels much closer to home with support from several well known rappers. This stretch to match a new sound with an old seems not well mixed as a whole album, which is why Angels & Devils scored a seven.