WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM BY LEWCA – BOOMBAP FOR BOOMERS
When MF DOOM and Danger Mouse joined forces to release their DANGERDOOM project, they decided to open the album with a question. ‘Why did you buy this album?’ they queried, before calling anyone who did ‘stupid’.
The introduction to Boombap for Boomers is similarly self-deprecating. ‘What the fuck is this?’ asks a voice, calling the album ‘pure dogshit’. You may wonder why Lewca chose to be so self-mocking.
The answer lies with Lewca himself. He lives in France, has three kids and a mortgage and a semi-domesticated hedgehog named Sonic – (something about the way he states this makes it sound like he’s proud of that).
It’s not the archetypal rockstar setting, but Lewca knows. The humorous contrast between rock-stardom and domesticity is central to Boombap for Boomers. Take ‘I Got it All’ for example, where Lewca jovially mocks the rock ‘n’ roll excess cliché, yelping that he ‘don’t need shit mate’ towards the song’s close.
He seems content with his homely existence, calmly, and slightly creepily, stating that he ‘wouldn’t know what to do with a massive mansion, I’d need a bigger family than Charlie Manson.’
The entire project is a collaboration, with S.O.A.P aka DJsonofapitch producing as he has on previous Lewca projects. He does a comprehensive job too. There are funked-up keyboard passages and wild electronic sweeps.
More is more when it comes to Boombap for Boomers. The title track is loud as chaotic, ‘Piece of Mind’ is like an audible scan of Mike Skinner’s laptop with frenetic glissandos, and ‘Day Job’ even features oom-pah style brass, sounding like if Loyle Carner made a novelty record, and a damn fun one at that.
There are, however, times when the maximalism is taken too far. The brazen combining of what sounds like the Casio keyboard clavichord sound and a squeaky toy on ‘All Grown Up’ is a strange choice, and with so many different sounds, the excess borders on wearying. The distorted kazoo solo on ‘Roundabout’ evokes a similar feeling.
Lewca is unafraid to allow varying influences to percolate through the tracklist. ‘Quite Like Me’ teams up with Elephant Man to bring the sounds of Dancehall on one of the project’s funniest songs. ‘Monday Morning’ is similarly bright – Lewca lamenting his beginning-of-the-week hangover over a ska-influenced beat.
But there are times when Lewca’s jocular nature pushes its luck. While it may be cruel to take lyrics out of context, no context can save some of the lyrics here – ‘I met a girl, we had sex, we fell in love, we had more sex’ is the greatest offender.
Being this satirical is always fraught with risk. Align yourself too closely with that which is being satirised and you become part of the very thing you’re mocking. That’s not to say it’s a universal problem when it comes to Boombap for Boomers, but the title alone is going to raise eyebrows no matter how far Lewca’s tongue is planted within his cheek.
It’s a lot of fun though. An unforgettable and chaotic record that brings character, a colourful palette of instrumentation and enough one-liners to last for days.