Boy Eats Drum Machine


by Mike Schiller

2 October 2006


Um… Bright Eyes does synthpop with more sampling?  Whatever it is, Boy Eats Drum Machine’s debut full-length Pleasure is an interesting listen, and not just for the incongruity between the electronic noises and the acoustic emofication.  Boy Eats Drum Machine, for the sake of this album, is basically one guy (his name’s Jonny Ragel) in his basement with a sampler, a CD full of breaks, and a few instruments.  The resulting album is quirky and endearing in its willingness to go pretty much anywhere with the sounds at his disposal—opener “Pleasure Theme Song” sort of sounds like Depeche Mode as done by a Prince cover band, and “The Taste of Your Mouth” sounds like authentic garage rock with all of the repetitive tendencies that implies—but absolutely none of these songs coalesces into something that’s enjoyable on a visceral level.  It’s interesting because it is what it is, it’s interesting because Ragel’s beats are largely sampled off a single CD full of breaks (Bridgetown Breaks, Vol. 1), and it’s interesting because it’s impossible to get a handle on any discernable personality.  That’s it.  Pleasure is interesting.  It’s just not very lovable.



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