Following the release of their debut single ‘I Watch You’ last October, Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs have become one of the most highly anticipated new bands of the past few years.
A label the new music press loves to throw at new artists, tainting many a band’s debut. A scary prospect for Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs who have already seen many of their contemporaries fall by the wayside.
Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs are signed to Heavenly, a record label that has been casually firing out new and exciting artists over the past year at a frantic speed, with bands such as Toy, Stealing Sheep, and Temples.
The album immediately descends into NYC art rock from the likes of Television, Suicide and The Voidoids with the droning Hammond organ and clipped guitars of ‘Things We Be’, continuing on from debut single ‘I Watch You’ with its breakneck drumming and raw vocals reminiscent of Richard Hell. The uptight Buzzcocks strumming and The Velvet Underground ‘Sister Ray’ style repetition drives the thrilling ‘I’ve Got A River’. While ‘Clarietta’ rolls on through its sense of simplicity, with primitive three-chord patterns and the reappearing riff, suspiciously resembling The Modern Lovers ‘Roadrunner’. The album contains enough electrifying moments to keep you interested throughout its entirety, with foot tapping hooks in the Talking Heads enthused ‘You Haven’t Got A Chance’ and radio friendly ‘Be Glamorous’.
‘Clarietta’ may sound like a band that have been trapped within the shaking walls of CBGB since the mid-70s, learnt all the songs, and now play them, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs have nonetheless learnt them impeccably. In keeping with the scuzzy mid-70s New York bar vibe, it would have been a mistake to shine up the spontaneous bum notes and grimy nature of ‘Clarietta’. A mistake which producer Edwyn Collins (The Cribs and former Orange Juice lead singer) clearly knew to avoid as he managed to capture the rush of their live shows by keeping the rough edges intact.
Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs have created a debut album that is everything we wanted it to be, simplistic, catchy and extremely fun, one that shoots its influences directly into an open vein. However, while wearing their influences on their sleeve can mean instant gratification, this can also hinder an album on further listens, yet for now it continues to develop overtime. ‘Clarietta’ brings together the bands that Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs love, but what next?
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words Alan Byatt