Charlie Boyer & the Voyeurs


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By the time he got around to making an album that featured his songs and his voice, Charlie Boyer had been on the music scene for quite some time, mostly as a member of the group Electricity in Our Homes. The long gestation period meant that when he finally struck out on his own, he was really ready to make a splash. After forming a backing band, the Voyeurs, and hooking up with Heavenly Recordings, Boyer's first album as a leader, 2013's Clarietta, is a strong debut that shows off his songwriting skills and treble-y singing voice to great effect, but also shows that the guy can kick up quite a storm of '70s N.Y. art punk-inspired noise. Coming out of the gate charging with the rollicking jam "The Things We Be," which features a chugging twin guitar attack, a burbling organ, and Boyer's slightly unhinged, very Tom Verlaine vocals, the album rarely lets up over its 45-minute span. Ranging from flat-out ragers like "I've Got a River" and "Watch You " that threaten to wipe out in a mess of tangled, overloaded guitars and feedback, hooky little pop/rockers that show a real knack for snappy melodies (the title track, the T. Rex-y "Be Glamorous"), and one or two slow moving, heavy groovers that help the listener stay calm, the record's overall sound is a really nice mashup of 40 years of neo-psych guitar-and-keys rock, from Television to the Paisley Underground (True West, Green on Red, the Dream Syndicate) to a bunch of contemporary bands like TOY and Pond. The only possible problem someone might have with the album is just how much Boyer channels Tom Verlaine's unique vocal style, and while it might be good for him to develop more of his own voice in the future, it's really not enough to distract from the band's insanely energetic playing, the strength of Boyer's songs, and the record's intensely good sound. It may have taken Boyer a long time to take flight, but on Clarietta he soars.

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