By Christopher Kompanek
Friday, December 7, 2012
As its name implies, listening to Black Moth Super Rainbow is a beguiling trip down a sonic rabbit hole. The members of the Pennsylvania quintet go by outlandish stage names (Tobacco, the Seven Fields of Aphelion, Power Pill Fist, Iffernaut and Father Hummingbird) and their ambitions exist in an ethereal sphere.
BMSR’s new album, “Cobra Juicy,” feels like the love child of Air and the Flaming Lips -- an expansive techno landscape punctuated by zany experimentation, reflected in the album’s exuberant title and in songs such as the insanely memorable “Hairspray Heart.” On that track, which is built on a progression of ’80s power chords dusted with distortion, Tobacco sings in an almost spoken intonation, “I can hypnotize you” over and over. It’s convincing and catchy.
Most of the other tracks make a similar splash, but “Psychic Love Damage” stands in stark contrast. A beat that’s in no hurry and kept company by a slide guitar and well-placed electronic effects creates a dreamy minimalist structure for this spare gem.
On the surface, Black Moth Super Rainbow appears to be a bombastic, whimsical collective that throws together songs with a Power Pill Fist, but their music tells a more textured story of musical discovery.