The sound of the Gorillaz after being pumped full of American steroids.
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.