Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Albums of the Year - #4 The Voyeurs - Rhubarb Rhubarb

Charlie Boyer and his Voyeurs rocked my world in 2013 when they released their debut album Clarietta. The band became one of my favourite groups with their modern interpretation on the post punk genius of Television. Just one year on and they are still held in equally high regard having released yet another masterpiece!

While the majority of Clarietta was written by Charlie himself, Rhubarb Rhubarb was a more collective effort. This more collaborative approach is what lead to the name shortening and it has given the rest of the band members a chance to strut their stuff. Ross Kristian does this particularly effectively with his organ which holds together 'Pete The Pugilist' while taking 'Say You Love Him (And Choke)' to a whole new magical level.

On glam rock anthem 'Stunners' frontman Boyer cries out "baby, baby, baby" and Sam Davies swipes at his guitar before the organ of Kristian dives into a short swirling solo. On 'The Smiling Loon' Danny Stead's bass leads the band on a dizzying walk around Boyer's dreamy vocals which are occasionally interrupted as Davies' guitar howls. On title track 'Rhubarb Rhubarb' guitars twinkle while Boyer questions "why did you choose to lose?" before he plunges into a shrieking chorus of "Rhubarb Rhubarb/the fastest by far". 

There was little over a year between the release of Clarietta and Rhubarb Rhubarb however it feels like a lot has changed in that time. Boyer's Tom Verlaine hair is gone (replaced by a Lou Reed hair and sunglasses look) and the band's post-punk sound is morphing into extravagant art rock also reminiscent of the late great Lou Reed. 

Despite all the changes The Voyeurs remain one of the essential bands of my record collection. I can only hope that this time next year I am writing about an equally different but fantastic third album the modern kings of glam rock.

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