Having cut his teeth in a myriad of different bands Charles Francis Moothart II is stepping out on his own with solo project CFM and a scratchy debut LP that goes by the name of ‘Still Life of Citrus and Slime’. Moothart’s first solo venture was borne from a two-month period of isolation that was fuelled by a brief and temporary break up from his long term girlfriend and band mate. Retreating into “a world of sorrow and confusion, while putting the pain from his head into his tape machine” ‘Still Life…’ is a record that fizzes as if untethered from the world, akin to throwing up his hand’s and howling a defiant “fuck you” Moothart’s primary outing has turned a sour time in his life into a body of work that’s exhilarating and carefree.
There’s a notion in amongst the kneejerk riffs and clattering drums that ‘Still Life…’ pivots on an impulsive character trait, as if Moothart and his hired guns (Michael Anderson: guitar, Tyler Frome: Bass and Thomas Alvarez: drums) just plugged in and captured a moment and applied it to tape. Nothing feels overcooked or premediated and it’s this flare of spontaneity that ignites the album’s undeniable charm. Tracks whizz past at a hefty speed and with a roaring noise in their wake, the likes of ‘You Can’t Kill Time’, ‘Lunar Heroine’ and ‘Habit Creeps’ barely pause for breath. Moothart holed up with his 388 Tascam 8-trackreel-to-reel tape machine and it’s the device that gives ‘Still Life…’ it’s fuzzy warmth, but none of the riffs or beefier parts of the album have been dampened in the recording process, making for an album with some delightful ramshackle oomph. Although unpolished, Moothart finds room to inject some histrionics, with ‘Glass Eye’ and ‘Clearly Confusion’ getting the dishevelled guitar solo treatment. The lead-man sums up ‘Still Life…’ best himself “At times it feels like it could come apart at the seams, but it doesn’t. It grabs the thread, bites the end, pulls it tight and continues the experiment. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s all”
Tamer moments come in the shape of the sauntering ‘Slack’ which hints at Moothart’s darker times as he muses about his “weary eyes and weary mind” and the darker tones rear up again on ‘Purple Spine’s slo-mo psychedelia. The record comes to a close with an eponymous instrumental that grinds with a sandpaper against steel schtick and one that caps of the album in a melancholic fug.
What began life as an experiment due to a rocky relationship blip, has blossomed into an earthy album anchored on tempered fuzz and unshackled abandon.
Words and thoughts of Adam Williams