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Music Review: Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us

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Much like their music, Black Moth Super Rainbow’s name is evocative and mysterious, exactly how the band members want it as evidenced by being credited on their 2009 release Eating Us as “Drums: d.kyler; Voice + Music + Visual: tobacco; More Music: ryan graveface and seven fields of aphelion”.

It opens with “Born On A Day The Sun Didn’t Rise,” a song that epitomizes the band’s placement on the Venn diagram where psychedelia and electronica intersect. Tobacco’s vocoder vocal, which is how he performs all songs throughout, sounds robotic, creating a sense of the future while the melodies are a throwback to the past. The lyrics are brief and repeated, creating a mantra. The vagueness of their meaning will evoke ideas in the listener, leading each mind to its own particular destination, as they are pondered:

Born on a day the sun didn't rise
Born in a world without sunshine
You, you're the apple of my eye
Born on a day the sun didn't rise

This all meshes together in aural bliss, concluding with the sounds of ascension, signaling the start of a journey, which is why even though the liner notes list 11 tracks and the album contains 12, it plays like a single 35-minute piece with different movements.

Opening and closing with an acoustic guitar, “Dark Bubbles” finds the vocoder distorting the vocals even more. “Twin of Myself” has a music box quality with odd pulses popping out of the mix. On “Golden Splatter,” the strings that conclude the song are lush and lilting. If you haven’t been carried away from the now at this point, your imagination must be anchored by something extremely heavy.

The music on “Iron Lemonade” is more mechanical sounding. Its lyrics speak to stripping away identity “wash my friends away/…eat my face away.” “Smile The Day After Today” is a very idyllic instrumental. It’s easy to understand the harshness of the vocoder wouldn’t have worked with it.

“Bubblegum Animals” is even more of a mantra, a duet of sorts has one vocal track sings “la la la la” while the other repeats the two words of the title. It concludes with the sound of descending, as if the journey is ending. “American Face Dust” has a banjo augmenting the arrangement, slightly reminiscent of The Eagles’ ‘Journey of the Sorcerer.”

Eating Us fades away with an untitled instrumental. There was a time when the acoustic guitar and the synths, one sounding like a flute, would be followed by the record-player needle scratching against the label, informing you and your beanbag-riding friends that a side was over. This album makes for a perfect soundtrack to accompany inner-space explorations in black-lit dorm rooms or lazy, sunny afternoons.

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

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS