'Bang For The Buck' is a collection of twelve wonderfully produced and entertainingly performed tracks which culminate in one of the most fun and energetic albums to have dropped in a long time. The trio from LA carry on what they started with their debut EP and first two albums, creating high quality music with the simple aim of putting smiles on the audience's faces, hands in the air and feet on the dance floor.
Where many independent hiphop outfits get distracted by their cult following, get too introverted and start creating cryptic tripe, or simply live the ego ride too much, disband to go solo and then disappear, Ugly Duckling maintain their ship with consistency and class. The chemistry between Dizzy and Andy is extremely strong, whilst Young Einstein's production is as good, and most probably better than it ever has been.
The album is a critic's nightmare, in that there is very little in terms of quality, to differentiate between tracks. If pushed, 'Smack' would get a 'highlight' tag although all the songs feel like one solid chunk of greatness as opposed to varying degrees of success. Samples containing trumpets and other bits of brass are used from start to finish, giving a very consistent and sustained vibe across the entire album, which feels all the stronger for it.
'The Breakdown' features some mildly reflective verses, an admirable nod to Nelson from 'The Simpsons' and a great break. 'Einstein's On Stage' further immortalizes the crew's lead beat maker and DJ and 'Shoot Your Shot' features a fitting guest appearance by People Under The Stairs. 'The End Of Time' is a beautifully simplistic and appropriate conclusion to the album. You can almost see the credits rolling down the screen.
The group's last shows in the UK emphasised the large quantity of 'crowd pleaser' tracks in their back catalogue, with number after number calling out loud for crowd participation. With that in mind, the release of this album triples the time the guys will need on stage to get through their more stage suited compositions. The buckets full of requests Einstein surely gets is likely to substantially multiply too. If you want high quality, feel good hiphop, look no further than this. There's very few, if any, alternatives to what UD provide.