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CFM (Charles Moothart): Still Life of Citrus & Slime [Digipak]

Track List

>You Can't Kill Time
>Brain of Clay
>Lunar Heroine
>Street Car History
>Glass Eye
>Habit Creeps
>Clearly Confusion
>Purple Spine
>Wolf Behind My Eyes, The
>Still Life of Citrus and Slime

Album Notes

CFM is the solo alias of Charles Moothart, leader of garage surf trio Charlie & the Moonhearts and a frequent collaborator of Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin. He wrote his solo debut Still Life of Citrus and Slime after breaking up with a longtime girlfriend and bandmate, locking himself away in his home studio and writing songs expressing his confusion and emotional unrest. On the surface, the album might seem typical of the style of psychedelic garage rock one might associate with In the Red Records, but there's more of a dark undercurrent to the lyrics. While there are several noisy garage-punk thrashers here, there are also several slower numbers with acoustic guitars and more of a blues feel, even if it doesn't explicitly sound like blues music. The album sounds like it was spontaneously recorded and bashed out on cheap instruments onto a malfunctioning tape deck, and there are several tracks that cut off or feel like the tape has been smudged. Even as the music barely holds together, it still sounds like something Moothart obsessed over and poured all his conflicting emotions into. It seems like the type of record he made for himself out of necessity, channeling rage, depression, and uncertainty into cathartic songs. "Slack" starts out calm and laid-back, with Moothart feeling weary and pondering lies, eventually working up to a rambling yet focused classic rock jam. The more urgent "Glass Eye" is a rock & roll ode to destruction, and "Brain of Clay" finds him confused, crawling inside his own head, and unable to process anything. Even though the album seems like it must have been emotionally challenging to make, it still has its fun, upbeat moments. "Lunar Heroine" is lightning-fast space garage, with oscillating synths, Thee Oh Sees-like echo, and furious drumming. "Habit Creeps" has similar laser-like synths along with its strummy guitar chords and speedy, trashcan-like drumming. "The Wolf Behind My Eyes" is one of the album's more straightforward numbers, with a slightly grungy guitar sound and a crazy guitar solo. The album ends on a strange note with its instrumental title track, which starts out quiet and acoustic before trudging through a very lo-fi groove that sounds like it's being played off a tape that's been dubbed over dozens of times. ~ Paul Simpson


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