Published Apr 06, 2016You may know Charles Francis Moothart as the riffmaster extraordinaire in Fuzz, or perhaps you've seen him on stage, guitar in hand, as part of Ty Segall's band, or playing alongside fellow Segall backer Mikal Cronin (the three are longtime friends and collaborators). In that California crowd, he's a bit of a guitar god, a machine in terms of coming up with heavy and hard to pooh-pooh melodies. CFM, his initials, is Moothart's first foray into going it alone, another Ty Segall band expat taking songwriting into his own hands. Largely inspired by a split from a former bandmate/significant other, Moothart went through the motions largely on his own, and as so many before him have done, transformed personal sorrow into song (or in this case, a bit of a mind melt).
Still Life of Citrus and Slime is no collection of bland ballads, mind you. Moothart may be of the broken-hearted variety, but these 11 tunes are nothing short of gnarly, gravid with fuzz and distortion. Gentler moments do surface, such as the slow chug and brightness of "Slack," or the soft start of "Purple Spine" (with a riff that sounds eerily like Segall's "The Keepers"). But for the most part, Moothart keeps the energy high, with the quick chaos of "Habit Creeps," the more classically rock'n'roll "Glass Eye," or the semi-galactic experience of "Lunar Heroine," with quirky sci-fi sounds thrown into the mix. There are curious moments too, such as the abrupt ending of "You Can't Kill Time" —it's as if Moothart pressed the "next" button, stopping the song short, a little awkward, but perhaps symbolic of his situation.
Moothart, with his ideal-for-headbanging long hair and penchant for '70s rock stylings (and a voice that is a shade Ozzy Osbourne), is, like Segall, keeping it all alive in a sense, shamelessly shredding on guitar, giving 'em hell. There's nothing too farfetched or strikingly new here, but Still Life of Citrus and Slime is without a doubt a pure example of rock'n'roll. If heartbreak always produced sounds like this, perhaps it's not that bad after all. (In The Red)