Record review: Jake Bugg – Messed Up Kids (2014, EP)

jake bugg messed up kids

As if two albums in two years wasn’t enough, mop-topped sensation Jake Bugg is back with a new EP, and a puzzling little release it is. Based around the track ‘Messed Up Kids’, which already featured on the Shangri La album and was released as recently as November, this four song EP has the feel of either a single or a blatant cash-grab; it’s hard to tell which. The three other tracks – ‘A Change In The Air’, ‘Strange Creatures’, and ‘The Odds’ didn’t make it onto Shangri La, and are packaged here as extras or bonus tracks, but they didn’t make it onto the album for a reason. ‘Messed Up Kids’ is a simple and catchy little number, although it’s unfortunate that Bugg’s voice too often makes him sound like something that buzzes around your face and needs to be squashed – pun intended. After that, the quality drops away, and this release reveals itself to be the bag of leftovers it is. ‘A Change In The Air’ is a painful Byrds rip-off that could do with a lyrical re-write and Bugg doesn’t have the character in his voice to effectively pull off the blues number that ‘Strange Creatures’ tries to be. ‘The Odds’ adds a bit of stomp to proceedings to finish up, and while fans of the boy wonder will no doubt gobble this up, this release basically consists of a song that’s already been released and three B-sides that don’t add up to much. (Universal)

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