Beginning as the one-man music project of Thomas Fec playing under the name “Allegheny White Fish” before going on to gain 2,000+ Kickstarter backers pledging more than $125k, Black Moth Super Rainbow has always done things in their own way. Their latest album, Cobra Juicy, is being self-released using donations via the aforementioned Kickstarter page, which has far surpassed the goal of $45,000, and for a group whose recording costs are relatively low, you have to admire the way BMSR is attacking their latest release on every level.
The single “Windshield Smasher” kicks off Cobra Juicy with a kind of bluesy stomp and clap beat while the mellotron creeps along the melody. The song eventually switches into a dance break filled with warbly synth leads and the trademark BMSR vocoder vocals, and it is a rather energetic tone-setter for the rest of the album.
One of the things that distinguishes Black Moth Super Rainbow from the ever-growing mass that is the EDM world is their ability to sample so many different styles of music. So frequently they are dismissed as a pysch-pop group, but BMSR has the unique ability to sculpt a song using various techniques, sounds, and trends from different eras of popular music while still maintaining a cohesive sound from album to album.
“The Healing Power of Nothing” is a great example of this. Giving off a heavy electro dream-pop vibe with a funky rhythm section and ending with a stripped-down indie rock feel, the song is a great transition between two genres that seem to go together rather well, while “I Think I’m Evil” is an immediate jerk in the opposite direction. Brash, raspy synths pulse and drone, the vocoder is cranked to 11, and the entire atmosphere of the song is sticky. It’s hot and heavy in consistency and also plays with an indie-rock vibe from the middle to the end.
Besides having the best name on the album, the track “Dreamsicle Bomb” is also one of my favorites on Cobra Juicy. The song doesn’t weigh me down like “I Think I’m Evil,” but it also doesn’t let me float away like “We Burn.” It’s a wonderful mixture of trippy and pop that I could easily see appealing to wider audience than the album is intended to reach.
“Blurring My Day” is another one of my favorite songs on the album purely due to its rhythm section. It makes me feel like Christmas in Funky Robot Gangsta Pimpland, which you would think would look very futuristic until the banjo comes in and the imagery shifts to an early 1900s frontier style. It’s the kind of song that stirs the imagination.
“Hairspray Heart” is a great change up towards the end of Cobra Juicy. It kicks off with a two-stepping guitar and develops into an electronic face-melter that bleeds perfectly into the last song on the album, “Physic Love Damage,” which has a Western folk-country feeling married with an electro dream-rock mix.
Overall, Cobra Juicy is exceptionally recorded and conceptually pretty awesome. It brings together multiple forms of popular music as well as forms of not-so-popular music, morphing them into an album that can have you flying one minute and sinking into your chair the next.
Cobra Juicy is set to release October 23rd, but you can listen to a full stream of the album now.
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