The first song on “Burnt Up On Re-Entry” contains all the different elements that make up this album and is also representative of how good it is, with industrial noise, acoustic melancholy, acerbic metal guitar and lyrics of darkness. Like most of the stuff I review I appear to be coming to Boduf Songs late which is in some ways irritating because I really like this album, but it does mean that I have a body of work to explore which is always a nice surprise. The closest relatives to this album that I can think of would be “The Fragile”-era Nine Inch Nails and “Amnesiac” / “Kid A”-era Radiohead but neither are overtly on display, it’s more that you can detect their shadows; albeit so mixed together that you struggle to tell them apart.
For some people name-checking these two artists in a review will just serve to put them off the album in question, but I’ve loved Nine Inch Nails deeply and abidingly since “Broken”, while I’ve been a massive Radiohead fan since “Pablo Honey” and I think that despite the fact that they seem hugely different they’re not as far apart as you might imagine. Both fused guitars with electronics in a highly intelligent way while writing songs that managed to be both mainstream and experimental, which is no mean feat, and Boduf Songs have managed the same. When you throw song titles like “Whither Thou Goest Cretin” and “Drexelius Sick Man Quarles Emblemes Closed Heaven” together with the minimal artwork (a section of the Milky Way ?) its clear that Matthew Sweet isn’t compromising his vision to achieve success, but with past releases on Kranky and his new home being Southern Records, success is already under his belt so he can concentrate on his darkly effective art.