Boy album cover by Carla Bozulich

Carla Bozulich – Boy

Carla Bozulich

For those who know the name Carla Bozulich will also know that anything she does is unpredictable. Boy is no different.

Bozulich has spent many years constructing a musical facade that serves as an illusion with purpose. From the aggro-pop of Ethyl Meatplow to the roots-based Geraldine Fibers, she does not have to prove squat to anyone just how talented and diverse her skills are.

On Boy there is a nervous twitch to Bozulich’s opening track as she contorts her lyrics into a jerky jazz frame that smooths out when she proclaims in a darker tone, “Can’t hold me down.” In Bozulich’s professional career, that statement was proven years ago. In the context of the album, a shiver will shoot up your spine. She is not heartless, but that statement serves more like a threat than something that is uplifting. Her mind processes through a duality of layered vocals that flow in and out of a frame of reason.


What Boy reminds me is the late ‘80s/early ‘90s industrial art rock scene of inner-city deconstruction. From Lydia Lunch to Coil, “One Hard Man,” is everything a Foetus song should be, but done with less animation and more intensity by Bozulich. She knows how to take a noirish theme and exploit it into the seedy grime of post-millennial, market-controlled social flatlining. Bozulich has deeply researched the pop album construct and ripped apart it’s guts to re-animate it into an exorcism of musical rites. “Don’t Follow Me” is pop witchcraft with an intensive punk outlook to it.

“Danceland” sounds like something accessible, but it’s anything but danceable as she burns down the club attitude with minimalist hauntings. “What Is It Baby” is a pop ballad if it came out of the mind of a serial killer: endearing, introspective yet crazed by emotion.

Boy does to me like Skinny Puppy’s Too Dark Park, Coil’s Love’s Secret Domain or anything Diamanda Galas did to me when I first started listening to these albums. It scarred the hell out of me. I was frightened yet intrigued and then charged by their lack of social boundaries to create a new social attitude.

Bozulich knows how to use the rules to break the rules and then re-construct them into her own set of rules. It’s a powerful trait to have, especially in today’s society. We need Bozulich in our lives.

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