Up until a few months ago, the name Jonathan Boulet was synonymous with better than average indie-pop tunes that soundtracked my Year 10 days, and the vicious hardcore of Snake Face and Top People, which soundtracked my Year 11 days. Basically, one form of Jonathan Boulet was present during my high school years.
Anyway, that changed dramatically when I was chillaxing in the FBi offices around 2 in the morning. Whilst I gorged myself on some delicious chicken sandwiches, I saw that Jonathan Boulet had a new single out, called ‘Hold it Down’. I was mildly interested, as he’s a talented, multi-faceted guy whom I knew would have something intriguing to display. Pop in the blank CD, press play, expect some nice, clean tones to emerge. What occured next was of a similar effect as trying to stop a T-Rex from clamping its jaws down on top of me. Thick, gooey saliva drips on top of my head, as razor sharp guitars massacre every inch of my soul. I was flung around by the sheer power and torrential force of Mr. Boulet’s new sound. It was brutal, sneering and the best post-punk to present itself since Eagulls pulverised my ears slightly earlier this year.
It seems that the time in Berlin has completely changed Boulet. He’s switched labels from Modular to Popfrenzy, removed the beard, and plunged headlong into a weird spectrum of music that you’d never have thought would be attached to his solo moniker. As iterated before, he’s been in some crazy awesome hardcore bands, but it never seemed that he’d remove his pop stylings for the chainsaw murder ballads that make up ‘Gubba’.
‘Gubba’ is brilliant, because it shows a musician that can effortlessly change his style, and lose none of the momentum. If anything, the shift showcases Boulet moving on to greener pastures. This isn’t me being a snobby dickhead, who is knocking off Boulet’s previous albums, and simply praising him because he’s now in a genre that appeals more closely to me. As someone who’s followed Boulet since the first record, he sounds more confident and passionate than ever before.
‘Gubba’ is easy to lose yourself in, even with the haphazard filler tunes thrown in, like the ‘Don’t Call Me Champ’ intro, and the minute long ‘Derros’. The songs are sharp and vicious, squalling guitar thrashing next to Boulet’s cut-throat vocals. There’s a good mix of sounds to discover in here, from the King Gizzard-meets- Ty Segall-meets-Electric Wizard of ‘Is Anybody Dooming’, to the spine-shattering paralysis of ‘Creeper’. There’s a pants-shitting terror-plague displayed on ‘Traveler’, and ‘Alright’ does an impression of a QOTSA song, but then runs it through the blades of a lawnmower, as the maniac villain of Boulet raises his head to the sky and cackles with icy glee.
Look, you want to say that Boulet has matured on this album, but that wouldn’t even be remotely the right word. Maturing implies that you can cook five meals by yourself, and pay the bills. Jonathan Boulet has taken the most twisted parts of music and society and revealed them to the world here. Of course he had to do a 180 on his previous music; there’s no way that the fear Boulet wants to impart could be translated through that music. Instead, the rampant rampaging of his music, as showcased on ‘Gubba’ is the sign of a mad man completely losing it, and loving every second of it. ‘Gubba’ shows that Jonathan Boulet is more than any one genre, undefinable and yet completely reliable in being able to deliver amazing songs.
Go and fucking see Jonathan Boulet melt your face off, Raiders-style, when he launches the album on August 21st at GoodGod, with Unity Floors in support!