SXSW records

Phases and Stages


(Ropeadope) With a duel percussion section, guitar, bass, and renowned DJ Kid Koala, Bullfrog is a rhythm, rhyming, and scratching collective that's been gigging across North America for six-plus years. As a primarily live act, Bullfrog eases the transition from stage to studio with a track list balanced between unmastered live performances and rough in-studio recreations. The combination is a mixed blessing, Bullfrog being consistent in its vibe and mood, but lacking an overall crispness and force compensated for onstage. The rhythm blurs at times, and that's okay, but often the sound gets monotonous. On "Bullfrog Theme" and "Snakeskin" it's obvious that the rhythm section paired with the phenomenal scratching of Koala has the potential to do great things, while other tracks such as "Live Somewhere" are useless segues full of uninspiring lyrics. On "Reverse Psychology," MC Blurum 13 states that "like a paleontologist, I find answers beneath the surface," but then one gets the suspicion that Bullfrog only manages to scratch that same surface. Sooner or later, this happening live crew is going to have to decide what belongs on disc and what belongs onstage. (Thursday, March 14, Mercury, 11pm)


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