Record Review - 3 February 26 2003

Partnering drum 'n' bass producers Jason Maldini, Darren "D-Bridge" White, Dan "Fresh" Stein and Michael "Vegas" Wojicky, Bad Company UK — primarily recording as )E|B( — have nothing but a name in common with the like-monikered '70s rock group. Generating voluminous sound at convulsive volumes, Bad Company UK's only rock 'n' roll fantasy involves rolling bass lines designed to wrack — not just rock — bodies.

Shot Down on Safari is a two-CD collection; the Safari album is nine original productions, while the accompanying Best of the Bad mix is a well-greased segue of 21 older tracks. Both Safari discs comprise a dark-step barrage of epileptic snares, belligerent bass and turbulent, menacing synths that will surely have speaker diaphragms fibrillating as if at the receiving end of a taser.

Shot Down on Safari proper is the more varied disc, its content ranging from upfront ragga roller ("Mo' Fire") to stabbing scuzz-buzz ("The Hornet," "Snow Cat") to bouncy disco hustle ("Jellybean") — the crisp chatter falling somewhere between Renegade Hardware, Virus and V Recordings. Weak, however, are the samba-swing-meets-sheep-bleat of "Dr. Shevago" and sci-fi-dialogue-sampling "Torpedo" (a hackneyed idea that's rarely been successful since 4Hero's 1991 landmark, "Mr. Kirk's Nightmare").

Meanwhile, the second CD is a throttling showcase offering no reprieve for the first 12 of its 21 tracks. This mix will appeal to fans looking for a convenient, concise )E|B( discography.

The Bad Company of Shot Down on Safari may not make you feel like makin' love. But they'll fuck your head.

Bad Company spins at the Riviera Fri., Feb. 28.