Black Moth Super Rainbow
Rad Cult/French Kiss
Oct 24, 2012 Web Exclusive
We last left this Pittsburgh collective with 2009’s Eating Us. Recorded in a professional studio, the songs on the record were more composed than earlier efforts, but they started blending together indistinctly, as if forcing these untamed weirdos into such an environment kept them from fully getting their freak on. Leading man Tobacco’s far-out, unpredictable solo record Maniac Meat might have overcompensated in the other direction, a nasty beast packed with dark beats and scary, grinding distortion. Cobra Juicy learns just the right lessons from each of these albums. It’s the Black Moth Super Rainbow recording we’ve been waiting for: unchecked and as wonky as ever, but with just enough structure to give it a lasting impact.
Cobra Juicy runs the gamut of strangeness. Lead single “Windshield Smasher” rolls out quick, crunchy riffs over an arena-rock drum beat; a robotic voice croaks near-indecipherable poetry about hairspray, roller skates, and gasoline. The woozy vocalist on “Like a Sundae” gently coos about microwaving smiles over a punchy bassline. A digital voice repeatedly threatens to hypnotize you in “Hairspray Heart,” a pulsing piece of electronic dancepop that sounds like Daft Punk, but from a far-off and possibly hostile planet. Cobra Juicy is a surreal piece of work, but now more than ever do Black Moth Super Rainbow seem conscious of some underlying method to their madness.
Made available through Kickstarter in a bunch of nutty-ass packages—$75 got you a latex mask version of the creepy orange on the album cover, music jammed into a USB tooth—this is music that makes sense in these offbeat trappings. Hey, maybe some people would get more out of it listening from the comforts of a latex mask; the music’s weird enough to believe that. For the rest of us, there’s always CD or vinyl. (www.blackmothsuperrainbow.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10