Wednesday, 15 May 2013

#102: Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs - Clarietta

Music these days is all about nostalgia, that doesn't stop newer releases from sounding fresh or exciting mind you, it just means that nothing can really be considered as ground-breaking any more. Even genre-defying, stomach churning sounds of stuff like dubstep has it's roots in genres that came well before it, no matter how much it's pushed as being completely original. As I said before though, this doesn't necessarily make contemporary music bad, far from it, it's just with so much musical history preceding them, how can new bands make anything that's never been done before? Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs are one band plagued with such troubles. Their d├ębut album Clarietta is by no means a bad album. It's just there's nothing that really jumps out and grabs you. Sure there's the occasional song that will set itself apart from the others, but is that really enough in an industry as flippant as the music business? 

In short the answer is no. Sure the quintessential guitar sound is present and ever indebted to the 1970s bands of NYC while off-kilter keys occasionally permeate the record's overt fuzz giving it that little bit more melody, but only just. Debut single 'Watch You' is the highlight of the record and comes across as the band Palma Violets wished they were. Frenetic keys move in between pounding drums and surging guitars all the while singer Charlie Boyer's voice shakes and warbles its way to the song's conclusion in a fantastic fashion. It's just a shame the rest of the record doesn't live up to this songs dizzying heights.

Tracks such as 'A Lion's Way' and the Bowie-esque 'Be A Complete Dream' are other saving graces that punctuate an album that is nothing short of beige, which is a shame as there are occasional moments of musical brilliance buried underneath formulaic layers of filler. With a bit of luck, the energy that's present on Clarietta will transfer to their live sets, as there's certainly an abundance of it upheld by the band, it's just the music they make does nothing to grab your attention the way a record such as this should. There's absolutely no doubting the musical credibility of the band, but there's a distinct sense of deja vu that manifests itself throughout the eleven tracks featured. A good first effort from perhaps the next band to fall victim to the hyperbole of the music press, albeit one that certainly could have been built upon and refined before being released.


This article was originally written for Little Indie Blogs as part of two reviews showing two differing opinions. To read the other review, and more, click here.