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Boomkat Product Review:
For this fourth album as Boduf Songs, Matthew Sweets has expanded his range as a musician and composer. While previously we've heard the lo-fi songwriter working his way through, creaking acoustic vignettes, this outing features a bold new array of instruments and a distinct sharpening of the project's experimental tendencies. Throughout the album, it sounds as if Sweets is doing his best to keep his voice down - as if there's someone asleep in the next room he's trying not to wake. The effect verges on the downright sinister, particularly during the opening of 'Decapitation Blues', with its introductory lines: "The living dead have risen up/From muddy graves, with bloody mouths". Yet within this same song, Sweets vacates this customarily hushed, doom-laden whisper with a distorted bassline and a full-voiced, drum kit complete with turbulent, splashing cymbals. The 'full-band' tactics recur elsewhere, as on the closing piece 'I Am Going Away And I Am Never Coming Back', whose peculiar chord changes and brooding layers recall both Hood and Radiohead. Arguably the most potent entry on This Alone Above All Else comes in the shape of opener 'Bought Myself A Cat O' Nine Tails', on which Sweets' voice commands an unnerving, fatalistic air of authority, accompanied by the sound of hammers clunking onto upright piano strings.