Boy Eats Drum Machine

Booomboxxx

by Evan Sawdey

21 October 2008

 

Boy Eats Drum Machine is the brainchild of Jon Ragel, who is responsible for every note on Booomboxxx, the third album under his allusive moniker. BEDM is the sound of pop songs being fractured via hammers made of hip-hop breakbeats and a relentless DIY bedroom aesthetic, resulting in an album that is wildly haphazard, a traffic jam of vocals and sounds that still manage to eek past any harsh criticism simply because of Ragel’s infectious love of pure melody, an aspect that shines through each and every track. Some tracks easily trump others (“The Crack in the Sea” is an immediate highlight simply because it’s the most straightforward-sounding tune on the disc), but by and large, the tunes feel more overstuffed than relatable, like the Gorillaz after being pumped full of American steroids. Yet every once in awhile, Ragel stumbles across something genius, like the softly cooed vocals, tremolo guitar, and scratched samples that dote “la la la la LA!”, a gorgeous little ditty that gets a shot of adrenaline halfway through when the breakbeat drums launch in out of nowhere. No, the experiments don‘t always work, but that doesn’t prevent Booomboxxx from being one of the most utterly fascinating discs you’re likely to hear all year.

Booomboxxx

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.

 


//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

20 Questions: Nashville Singer-Songwriter Natalie Hemby

// Sound Affects

"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.

READ the article