Charles Moothart: Black Holes Don’t Choke [Album Review]

Charles Moothart
Black Holes Don’t Choke
In The Red Records [2024]

Album Overview: Black Holes Don’t Choke marks Charles Moothart’s fourth full length and his official transition from the CFM moniker to his proper name, reflecting a new chapter in his musical resume. The album, released via In The Red Recordings, is a collection of ten tracks that serve in Moothart’s words as “love songs for the apocalypse.” Recorded, mixed, and performed entirely by Moothart in his Los Angeles studio, the album showcases his expansion of electronic elements while retaining his signature heavy fuzz and dynamic riffing. This record will take you several listens to find its groove as I find it to be more of a grower, especially if you are already a fan.

Musical Style: Moothart’s musical style still finds him belting out garage-psych and heavy fuzz, but now the songs are complemented by newfound electronic elements and samplers. The album embraces chaos and empowerment as it offers a blend of gritty rock aesthetics with contemporary production techniques that are new to Moothart catalog. There is a little more foot tapping that goes along with these tracks as their beats draw you in for a closer listen.

Evolution of Sound: The album represents a change in Moothart’s sound, incorporating classic hip-hop movements, some sampling, and sequencing alongside his traditional rock instrumentation. Moothart’s has full control here of the engineering and mixing techniques that coupled with the electronic elements, results in a textured and dynamic sonic landscape. Overall the album bounces around a bit with its focus and sound from track to track. Black Holes Don’t Choke is definitely the most adventuress record we have heard from Moothart.

Artists with Similar Fire: Fans of the inner Ty Segall circle will like this record. FUZZ, Mikal Cronin, Tim Presley (White Fence), all come to mind. Any other projects within the LA garage-psych scene will find familiarity in Charles Moothart’s sound. His heavy fuzz guitar work and gritty vocal delivery tie them all together.

Pivotal Tracks: “Hold On” is a focus track of the album, featuring Moothart’s newly-present vocals, an infectious chorus and some scorching guitar work. “Clock Rats” is a ripper that doesn’t slow down and reminds me of some earlier work from Moothart. “Anchored And Empty” is a heavy song that has some real muscular riffs that you will remember with its Black Sabbath vibe.

Lyrical Strength: The lyrics on “Black Holes Don’t Choke” convey themes of chaotic love, empowerment, and optimism amid existential turmoil. Moothart’s exploration of identity and individuality resonates throughout the album, urging listeners to visualize evolution and find meaning within the chaos of the present moment. The lyrics reflect a deep introspection and a plea for nature and humanity to thrive despite the challenges they face.

CFM: Soundtrack To An Empty Room (2019) / CFM: Dichotomy Desaturated (2017)

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Thomas Wilde

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