Boomkat Product Review:
F*ck. There, I've started with an expletive so now I have your attention I can probably let you know why I bothered. 'Hello, Voyager' isn't the sort of album destined to draw the attention of the busy, net-addled music fan. Carla Bozulich's second album for the on-form Constellation label and first under the wing of her newly monikered band Evangelista, it's not exactly the easiest sell, but then there's the small matter of the music itself. Bozulich is no newcomer to the music scene, but 'Hello, Voyager' has her sounding more self-assured than ever before, and while her previous album (entitled 'Evangelista' just to confuse matters further) was a triumphant return, it is with 'Hello, Voyager' that she finally creates the grubby mark she's been hinting at for so long. And the reason for that expletive? It was exactly the reaction I had when I pressed play - and I continued, motionless, to listen as the album grew into a fuzzy skirmish of blues, no-wave, noise, rock 'n roll and so much more. 'Winds of St. Anne' begins our journey with Bozulich groaning and wheezing like a female Beefheart as discordant guitars attempt a sequel to 'Moonlight on Vermont' and within minutes of the album beginning you're already trapped by this singular, pervasive vision of poetry and music. Then we're thrown into the album's finest moment, the drum-led screech of 'Smooth Jazz' a track which is anything but, sounding closer to the most abrasive moments on Sonic Youth's seminal 'Sister', a comparison I don't use lightly. Basses fall through the rugged amplifier speakers as if held by monstrous behemoths and the drums rattle through the walls with everything mixed expertly by Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Efrim Menuck. Menuck isn't the only name to show up on 'Hello, Voyager' either, as various Montreal veterans and members of A Silver Mt. Zion show up sporadically to contribute drums, string arrangements or whatever is deemed necessary for the record's progress. Most of it works too, occasionally the string parts, for me at least, take some of the focus from the genuinely debauched sound of the record, the noise-laden bass-heavy core which defies its Northern pedigree, but we have variety and who can possibly begrudge Bozulich that? By the time the wails, moans and basement grit evolve into the final, twelve minute title track there should be no doubt in your mind that Evangelista is something truly spectacular, and when Bozulich blood-curdlingly squeals 'LOVE', you know exactly what she means. F*ck yes.