Black Moth Super Rainbow
It's always hard to write about Black Moth Super Rainbow, because I refuse to call someone "Father Hummingbird" or "The Seven Fields of Aphelion." ("David Gilmour" was good enough for David Gilmour.) But even if the band's cultivated mystique turns you off, there's much to recommend Dandelion Gum, out this week on Graveface Records.
If you're a little late, Black Moth Super Rainbow is a semi-local psych group that recently caught some ears with a collaborative album with Austinites The Octopus Project. According to press materials, the five members also don't "really come from any kind of scene," are "somewhat of an anomaly in their hometown of Pittsburgh," "known as somewhat of an enigma," and "go by aliases and stay away from normal press photos so the music is always the main focus."
So, Dandelion Gum. Leaning heavily on analog synths and vocoder, the record bears traces of Stereolab and early Pink Floyd (naturally), as well as Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy and vintage lysergists such as Tangerine Dream. The opener "Forever Heavy" starts with a pulsating drone before taking off for the Crab Nebula; "Lollipopsichord" reprises from the Octopus Project collaboration; "Sun Lips" is a gorgeous combination of vocoder, a skittery groove and proggy flute sounds. Some of my favorite cuts combine haunting synths with acoustic guitars, as on "Jump Into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust."
Since it's all about the music, man, my only complaint with Dandelion Gum is its astringent mix, which coagulates the melted-cheese slurp of the synths, shaves the stubble off the bass and doesn't really do justice to the clickity-clack slo-mo breakbeats. That said, BMSR has improved mightily over the past year or so, on record and live, and with this release is rubbing noses with freak-out awesomeness.
And you know what? If they re-released this in gooey, kandy-koated surround sound, I'd start calling them "Tobacco," "Iffernaut" -- whatever the hell they want.