[sic] Magazine

CFM – Still Life Of Citrus And Slime

Always the bridesmaid never the bride, Still Life Of Citrus And Slime is multi-instrumentalist Charles Francis Moothart’s debut solo album after a decade of largely unsung turns as a member of The Epsilons, the Ty Segall Band, FUZZ, the Moonhearts, Culture Kids, GØGGS, as well as guesting on the solo albums of Mikal Cronin. And, so far is it in the same vein that it’s practically a blood-borne injection, Citrus And Slime is a lo-fi guitar album that offers pleasingly few surprises. Those that are present come in the form of crazily abrupt track closes, buzzsaw synth oscillations and cheap sci-fi FX that give the album a playful sheen when all else is consumed by heavy fuzz.

Consequently anyone looking for subtlety need not apply. Those looking for a good ol’ time, however, come right this way – peculiar, perhaps, for an LP reputedly spawned off the back a break-up between Moothart and his long-time girlfriend. Propping up the demo-quality wail, nevertheless, come rickety melodies, buoyant atop flows of distortion and white-hot shred. Sweaty pit fodder rubs grimy shoulders with Moothart’s vocal snot that clings to the tinny racket like a fuggish head cold. Parts of Citrus And Slime naturally have a passing resemblance to would-be mentor Ty Segall as a result. The stand-out “Brain Of Clay”, for example, necessitates looking twice before you realise its sludgy stomp and strangled solos aren’t the product of the garage whirlwind himself. “Clearly Confusion” breaks no new ground either, another most gnarly garage-psych blaster from the Segall school of power riffing and indistinct crunch.

Truly Moothart in attack mode is a force to behold, any hint of tenderness bulldozed by leaden fuzz and juggernaut chug. All the same, “Slack” and “Purple Spine” are well sequenced breathers, the latter full of mid-paced melodies that go nowhere fast and the former a sleepy psychedelic take on Americana and southern-style glam. They’re both harmless enough, but in comparison to a track like “Glass Eye”, on which Moothart assumes some superhero persona, cutting down government stooges with his waves of wailing axe-play left, right and centre, and it’s a clear no-contest.

Moothart’s best hunting grounds are loud and aggressive. His amps hum at their highest setting when the thrash momentarily subsides and even when winding down on Citrus And Slime’s closing statement he does so only by slowing down his dissonant licks to k-hole-speed sludge as heard through the neighbour’s walls. Moothart is a man now inextricably wedded to a movement and this showy herky-jerk of an album is his first dance in the spotlight and, to the credit he deserves, he’s looking good doing it.

Best track: “Brain Of Clay”

~Still Life Of Citrus And Slime is released 22nd April 2016 via In The Red.~