Published May 09, 2018Carla Bozulich does not have the voice of an angel.
This is not to suggest that the 52 year-old L.A. native won't knock you over with her Marianne Faithful-meets-Patti Smith-meets-your-worst-nightmare vocals. When Bozulich steps to the microphone, it is difficult to pay attention to anything but her.
Bozulich has built her audience as a part of multiple combos since 1982, a list that includes the Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista, Ethyl Meatplow, Scarnella, Invisible Chains, the Night Porter and Neon Veins. She's worked with bassist Mike Watt and a long list of others. This solo album is her sixth, and the first since 2014's Boy.
Like Bozulich herself, Quieter is larger than life. The songs are racked with pain, her vocals commanding. Every one of these seven tracks is like a J.G. Ballard car crash — the violence is beautiful and the beauty is ferocious.
"Let It Roll" opens the album like a sold-your-soul electronic blues anthem. "I dreamt you cut the rope, blew my lungs full of hope," she sings. "Don't bring me back this time. Let it roll."
"Glass House" is another darkly sweet highlight. Bozulich's voice throughout this album won't just command your attention, it will infect you. This is an unforgettable, virtuoso performance. (Constellation)