The Doozer, Sheet Music

Another bedroom artist and another arch alias (cf. Lonesome Jonesome elsewhere in this issue), The Doozer doesn’t give out his real name. Perhaps he fears for his safety, as well he might, for this is a hopelessly slapdash and contrived collection of songs.

The Doozer is one of those songwriters (Robyn Hitchcock is another) who is devoted to the psychedelic whimsy of Syd Barrett. He even comes from Cambridge, hoping perhaps to channel some of Barrett’s inspirations into his own songs. Now I yield to no-one in my love of Pink Floyd, but I’m a firm believer that they only really got going after Barrett left the band and Roger Waters took creative control. I don’t much care for Piper at the Gates of Dawn or for Barrett’s two solo albums, so I was unlikely to be swayed by someone offering up a pale imitation of him. And so it proves.

The Doozer sings with the same blank, affectless drawl as Barrett, but fails to impart any of the latter’s bruised artistry. The lyrics are crass: “You can have a brand new voice, it’s just up the road” is about as incisive as it gets. “No-one likes us here,” he drones on “Like Us Here,” and frankly I’m not surprised.

Instrumentation is uniformly inept, consisting largely of cheap synthesised rhythms and melodies, with occasional forays into scratchy and primitive electric guitar. Taken together with the rote and uninspired singing, the combination is pestilential. The overall impression of unhealthy amateurism is confirmed by the front cover artwork, which depicts a dopey-looking bearded bloke (presumably The Doozer himself) presiding over a landscape of jarring colour clashes and icky symbolism.

(originally published in The Sound Projector 17, 2008)

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