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:

//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Black Milk Gives 'Em 'Hell'

// Sound Affects

"Much of If There's a Hell Below's themes relay anxieties buried deep, manifested as sound when they are unearthed.

READ the article