Space becomes The Bug’s most successful element for Fire. For the first solo record in seven years, this urban sprawl of sound begins with “The Fourth Day.” In the case of being a static hellscape, Fire is the theme for Terminator, a consistent run for the human race as they try to escape their own mistakes.
As the feedback engulfs the ears, the speakers sculpt to drop all aspirations as featured artist Roger Robinson illustrates stretches of land that were once occupied as a metropolis for hope, but have since changed. When the first instrumental track, “Pressure” peels back the skin, The Bug is an assaulting cyborg for instrumentation.
The 808 rhythm is hypnotic but crushing with a feature from Flowdan. “Pressure” is the cinematic crunch of bone, the senses being repressed, and the light is shut out from the eyes. Inside this dimly lit neon graveyard, The Bug paints the sky red with the blood of innocents.
Flowdan here is less charismatic as a narrator and more of an aide to the oppression in this fantasy land. Describing, “Dem a gonna run outta town when we apply pressure. Babylon time done, yuh sing for the stretcher. So what I’m gonna deal with, oh can’t hit em I got feeling.” As the warping synth cascades into some depressed hole, Flowdan pushes on to describe, “Simple from a warrior’s point of view. Be a face ting when I run up on dem, ah nobody raasclaat move.”
This style of dialect from The Bug and his features becomes the soundtrack to the end of civilization. Immediately a dust-filled planet flashes into the mind with “How Bout Dat.” The dinging churchwork bells are fit for a fatality as rising synths surround the audience and force them to cower behind the collapsing percussion and aggressive bass structure.
As the chains of man suddenly become more harsh and constrictive around the neck to create a noose, pieces like “Fuck Off” get a chokehold and tight lease on the audience with little room to breathe. The snapping 808 is a march in military form that keeps the listener at full attention.
The feature from Logan_olm is fairly simple, each line ending with having a nod to the title at every turn. “Fuck Off” is an interesting diversion from Fire as it takes the focus off of being a yearning planet doomed to extinction and more to being an alpha destroyer that has a spine of steel.
If being crushed and forgotten is a method of want for the audience, then Fire is the perfect rapture toward a worse fate than death. No salvation, no future, but full of confidence, The Bug is the perfect production to fall to pieces.