In a Driven to Write first, we diverge into music critique. Japanese pop or Lebanese Blond? You decide.
Charlie Ghost and The Cakes of Boofe hope to storm the hit parade with their eloquently titled first album, Kettle Boiling. Being virtually unknown to the music industry with no gigs nor internet activity, their raucous blast fusing various musical themes, styles, instruments and presumably guilt free performances should see these surprisingly none too young expedites of tune propel at a rate of knots. That, or flounder like a fish gasping for air.
With such enforced secrecy, getting a handle on this outfit is hard; no photos, no social media just this, rather flippant message from the record label, Convenient Subsidence stating “A red notice to the world” – so let’s look at the songs in detail.
‘Custard in Pails’ opens their account with jangly guitars, some Hammond organ background, a side of Oompah expressionism with powerful lyrics pertaining to simplicity being everything. With a stunning and unexpected sitar outpouring for the final minute, it’s one helluva beginning. Should the album continue at this pace, we’re onto something big.
‘Traces of Crustacean’ slows that pace considerably to that of barely walking. One could be easily convinced into it being a power-dressed shoe-gazing anthem to financial decisions or toe-treading, depending on your opinion. Which, with saxophone inputs is unequivocally OTT.
‘The Cakes of Boofe Stamp’ does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a relentless cost-killing stomp that positively lures you in, transfixed by the sumptuous bass, drums and all too apparent transcendental imagery of philately it projects. Should this tune not incur foot gyrations or fist clenching/ waving – you’re dead. Which after listening more, you may well be.
‘Racehorses & Regiments’ has a colour all of its own on this album. Abusive piano holds you firm whilst the thumping bass launches attack upon attack of musical friction. With Charlie’s words encompassing construction workers, Turkish airports, roadies and a girl names Carol, it’s all hip, hip hooray before the stark and final silence kicks you one last time. And not in the teeth but the Crown Jewels for some extra affront.
‘Outrun, Lift, Fetch & Pen’ has nothing whatsoever to do with sheep trials or One Man and His Dog; far from it. Outwards travel, by any means, yes. Throw in country hopping, escaping the perils of confinement then holding up somewhere safe – all here. And all to a jazz riff that bites deeper than the original Jaws move. Epic – in a hopelessly crass way.
‘The Inevitable Asterisk’ gets Charlie Ghost’s vocals emanating strides into the unknown. Crooning over uncommunicative collaborations, stratospheric remunerations, the heroics of being the villain and some rather wayward adoptions which happenstance electricity; and all to the painful woes of the oboe, banjo and bagpipe. Crystal clear? Not exactly…
‘Serena Recliner’ is CGatCoB’s enigmatic opus to, well, what exactly? Flouncy tides of a flautist riddled with a congenital glockenspiel backdrop onto the most out-of-tune bass this side of burnt down guitar store. This ‘tune’ cannot hide the rotting stench that un-civility and extraneous wrongdoings can result in a nice, comfy chair. Poppycock.
Arguably the final track of this eponymous 73 minute album, ‘Devil on the Doorstep’ is Charles’ chance to outpour some viciously needed bile. With a remarkably pared back Boofe to just triangle, snare drum and eighteen cymbals, this song deals with mental health but in a form that is almost impossible to appreciate or understand. If this is CG’s offering of peace to the internal demons he must endure, then he might as well have brought these demons a picnic and lashings of ginger beer. The Famous Five could do worse than this bunch of seemingly dozens of Boofe members.
On the whole then, Kettle Boiling incites more frustration for the listeners than any kind of entertainment. A zillion miles from relaxing, further for those seeking any kind of emotional employment to this record, it is akin to being inside the greenhouse as the first stone has been cast; by themselves.
One star out of five then. And that singular star is not the ‘artistic element’ – goodness no. It is given purely for the intrinsic feeling one gets when the electric supply is cut. Over. And out.
***STOP PRESS*** Lawyer’s have had to intervene with the release of this album due to the following reasons. A plane with registration number N155AN, far too theatrical and over opinionated band members, and the album is rubbish. But look out for updates in the near future.