Sunday, May 31, 2009

Review: Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us (* * * 1/2)

Psych-pop group Black Moth Super Rainbow bring their hazy, vocoder-heavy rock style back again with Eating Us, the follow-up to 2007's bizarre folk album, Dandelion Gum. The band is known not only for their musical uniqueness but also for their eccentric performances and stage names (Power Pill Fist, Father Hummingbird, etc) which add another level to the group's strange mystique. It's not all just fancy tricks and gimmicks, however, BMSR create some truly interesting and compelling music and while Eating Us may not impress as thoroughly as their earlier work, it contains some very strong material within its twelve tracks.

Eating Us seems to have been made, quite intentionally, to defy most pop music conventions. Verses and choruses blend together if they occur at all, songs stick to simple structures that occasionally go nowhere, and rarely is there a strong hook, instrumental or otherwise, to be found among the record's 35 minutes. Still, the whole project is strangely compelling and fascinating as much because of the BMSR's odd musical identity as the album is in spite of it. The first half of the record is clearly the more consistent and engaging, starting with the relatively more substantial "Born On A Day The Sun Didn't Rise" and "Dark Bubbles," the former of which is among the tracks that follow a slightly more familiar song structure. My personal favorite is the pleasantly psychedelic "Twin of Myself," in which sparkles with layers of synths and keys and is perhaps the album's most immediate moment.

By the end of Eating Us, some of the songs may start to feel a little redundant, though the excellent, banjo-led "American Face Dust" gives the back end a much-needed kick. After a few spins, it's easier to differentiate the tracks and to enjoy the subtle, hazy style that Black Moth Super Rainbow has made all their own, so take the time to get familiar with the album if you really want to get the most out of it. Check out the material below for an album preview:

Download: "Born On A Day The Sun Didn't Rise"

Watch the interactive video: "Dark Bubbles"