October 23, 2012

Cobra Juicy

It's going to be a filthy, crunchy, teeth grinding Halloween thanks to the kind collective of Black Moth Super Rainbow. For a few weeks now I have been listening to their newest release, Cobra Juicy. With this album, front man Thomas Fec, aka Tobacco, seems to have convinced the rest of his band to leave the peaceful lullabies that filled their previous works and to don the black Sith cloaks of his darker side. BMSR was one of the first electronic bands I really got into back in 'da day, when I first started smoking weed and felt a little too young to be playing Dark Side of the Moon as I got high. There were two amazing albums I was introduced to that forever changed my perception of the music that I wanted to hear. The first one was Boards of Canada's The Campfire Headphase, and the second one was Black Moth's Start A People. No matter what state I'm in, where I am, or what is going on, listening to Start A People still melts me away and wraps me up in a hypnotic cloak of peace. Between that record and the later Dandelion Gum, they became the soundtrack for several of my hallucinogen trips in the following years, and it was easy to call myself a fan for life. Then in 2008, I stumbled onto Tobacco's first solo effort, called Fucked Up Friends. The edgier sound of it seemed like more than just a side project, but a premonition of things to come for the band as a whole. As BMSR dropped Eating Us the following year, Tobacco's influential solo popularity had become more evident in their work as a group. Still steeped in a dream-like psychedelic pop embrace, the unmistakable vocals had begun to sink into a world of face-melting and heartbreak. I was skeptical of it, dreading that their new level of popularity could cause the romantic notion I had built with them would be shattered by this fierce, new sound. While my assessment was more-or-less correct, I was more pleased with the results than I would have imagined. Once again Tobacco prophesied Black Moth's future with Maniac Meat. Two years after his latest solo effort, Tobacco and the rest of BMSR have returned with Cobra Juicy, a record that is determined to let out your inner Halloween monster. The album even places me in the same nostalgic high that captivated me the first time I'd heard the collective. What surprised me most was that I enjoyed Cobra Juicy not only for beats, but even more so; the lyrics. Black Moth has always had haunting, almost robotic vocals, like a poltergeist crawling out of a television to reach out; but this record has taken it to a new level. It hypnotizes me, and figures me out before I know what is going on. Their singles are spot on to what you would expect from BMSR, but "Hairspray Heart" is definitely my favorite. Now that I've given you a rundown of their entire discography, catch your breath a moment while I talk about how amazing they are live. What I like most about them is that no matter what, they really seem to care about their audience. During this whole musical metamorphosis, they have always been asking people what they think of their music; often posting unfinished works and rough edits of newer songs. Black Moth Super Rainbow wants you to have a good time listening to their music. When I finally got to seem them last year in Asheville, NC at Moog, I was caught having too good a time, leading me into one of my favorite anecdotes: "I got kicked out of Tobacco for smoking a joint in the venue." But from what little I gathered when I was there, it was one of the funnest shows I saw that weekend, from their outstanding visuals, to their creepy Halloween costumes they wore to hide their identities. The band will once more be at Moogfest this year, which I'll be catching this weekend with David, and then next weekend in Austin, TX for Fun Fun Fun Fest, which I'll also be hitting up, this time with Jheri. Make sure you keep it tuned to Decoder this week for our full letters of intent to both festivals!

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Windshield Smasher Black Moth Super Rainbow - Spraypaint Black Moth Super Rainbow - Gangs in the Garden Cobra Juicy was released independently today (October 23), funded this summer via Kickstarter. Even if you weren't a part of the funding, you can still get yourself a copy at their webstore.

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