I’ve always been a fan of Jonathan Boulet, and in fact his debut album was the first album I ever reviewed for Forte magazine. Right from the beginning of his career he has always pushed the boundaries in terms of production and trying to get the strangest or quirkest sounding elements to the recording. It’s 2014 and he’s back with Gubba, his third album. After a year in Germany without his band and without a real gameplan, we are now hearing the results.
Opening with ‘Don’t Call Me Champ’, a thirty-second interlude into the album, we are able to hear that it is a lot more ballsy and headstrong on the guitar than ever before. I think that this crunchier guitar sound works for Boulet due to the high commercial success of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. It’s a little bit psychedelic and ’60s feel to the tunes, but still allows you to get around the simplistic instrumentation and arrangements. ‘Fuddy Duddy’ sounds like a tripped-out outtake from Ball Park Music’s latest album, and ‘Strut King’ features dirty low-down guitar.
To some people’s ears, it will take a bit of time to adjust to this new direction and sound given that his previous releases were a little more radio friendly. If you like Queens of the Stone Age with some garage-punk tempos then this album will be right up your alley. It will be interesting to see how Boulet plays these tracks live and whether they are easily achieved due to the sparse instrumentation.
Written by Tex Miller