Release Date: Nov 11, 2014
Record label: Heavenly
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
For their second album, The Voyeurs have taken all that time and energy from every time they ever had to say, write or type the words ‘Charlie Boyer and’, and used it to expand on their sound. 2013’s ‘Clarietta’ was a brilliant exercise in discordant post-punk, all motorik rhythm, hollow spaces and Charlie’s oddball vocal. Here, on follow-up ‘Rhubarb Rhubarb’, expanding that doesn’t mean adding strings (although there are some short bursts in closer ‘French Fancy’), going crazy on synths, or adding layer upon layer of unintelligible psych guitar until everything fell in to one giant mesh.
“That’s what happens if you like someone enough,” Charlie Boyer admitted to NME in January 2013. “You start to look like them.” For months, he’d been telling everyone how much he loved Tom Verlaine, frontman of NYC proto-punks Television. But he didn’t just want to sound like him; Boyer, with his lank hair and gaunt cheekbones, had morphed into a dead ringer for Verlaine, too.That was the rub with Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs: the greatest lookalikey is never the same as the real thing.
After releasing a couple singles and the excellent Edwyn Collins/Seb Lewsley-produced debut album Clarietta, Charlie Boyer & the Voyeurs dropped the first part of their name and tightened up their sound considerably. So much so in fact that their second album, Rhubarb Rhubarb, sounds like a condensed and shrunken version of their first. The live and slightly rough sound Collins and Lewsley got is gone, replaced by a smoother, more focused approach.
The Voyeurs (previously prefixed by Charlie Boyer and) appeared amongst the wave of British indie acts spawned from the 2009 Primary Colours by The Horrors. Since then, there’s been a plethora of kinda psych, Krautrocky, shoegazey indie bands with disaffected malnourished lead singers flanked by guitarists who look like girls. This has led to some fantastic British bands, TOY, Spectres, Telegram, Hookworms, The Voyeurs lie naturally amongst these bands but their debut long player, 2013’s Clarietta didn’t quite match the promise of the singles that preceded it.