Rhubarb Rhubarb

The Voyeurs LP 'Rhubarb Rhubarb' reviewed by Northern Transmissions, out 11/10 on Heavenly recordings

Artist:  The Voyeurs


Record Label: Heavenly Recordings

Rating: 6.0 /10

For LP2, The Voyeurs have streamlined their band name by slicing off the mention of ‘Charlie Boyer and….’. Consequentially, with a band moniker that pivots on being observant, this new record, ‘Rhubarb Rhubarb’ contains narratives anchoring a domestic theme. Charlie Boyer, the group’s lynchpin, has stated “I think I’ve just become more interested in story songs”. Equally, Boyer thinks of this sophomore offering as a London record with wider tendrils that invoke further English motifs. Sonically, ‘Rhubarb Rhubarb’ manifests with a sound not dissimilar to antipodean psyche – the kind of DNA found on the fingertips of Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. On top of the Aussie reference, an Englishness can be heard rippling through ‘The Smiling Loon’ akin to a drugged up Kinks dissolving in a kaleidoscope haze.

The issue with ‘Rhubarb Rhubarb’ is the lack of urgency or impact, a large proportion of tracks bleed into one, a detrimental factor found with ‘English Sings Rhubarb Rhubarb’ which swifts into ‘Rhubarb Rhubarb’ it’s almost like the same song twice, back to back. On a first listen, there’s the feeling the album has got stuck on track 6, in some sort of perpetual rut. The lifeblood of The Voyeurs second album is part chiming, smoky psychedelia with a glam stomp Mark Bolan would be proud of but the LP lacks the kind of charismatic verve found with T Rex.

Despite the album being a relatively decent non-event, the final brace of tracks ‘May Will You Stop’ and ‘French Fancy’ showcase two sides to The Voyeurs cannon. The former a wafting, stripped back ditty, while the latter signs off the album in sawing, rollicking style – ensuring the band haven’t lost all their poke in a dope smoke smog.

Look up the definition of rhubarb on Urban Dictionary and the first thing you’re greeted with is “rhubarb = complete and utter bollocks” by classification this is another very English term, especially the reference towards, bollocks. With an album title that could rouse connotations towards the negative, the record isn’t “bollocks” but it’s not amazing either. On a crap to fantastic scale its somewhere above disappointing and a little below ok.


Word and Thoughts of Adam Williams

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