Rad Cult Records
By this stage, no one’s gonna blame you too much for getting lost in Black Moth Super Rainbow’s back catalogue; it’s big, and dedicated to such an idiosyncratic kind of psychedelia that it can be easy for the fuzzed-out gunk-hop corners to blur together. This time its as direct as it gets from these Pittsburg weirdos; the Kickstarter-funded Cobra Juicy features a slightly clearer (and well-produced) set of dense, texture-obsessed genre-disregarding tracks.
Starting off with Thin Lizzy/Gary Glitter-style kick-drums and guitar skronk stabs that suggest nothing but “good vibes”, “Windshield Smasher” is a concise opening statement for their knack for gunked out, colour-dripping poetry. And, it sums up pretty well the way they bend a certain ugliness and sense of wonder together into something newly weird. Taking the kind of 90s cartoon punk nostalgia (like Toxic Crusaders or Garbage Pale Kids and general Arcade Game hypnogogia) that ran parallel to the grunge on the airwaves at that moment, their rock via hip-hop jams are multidimensional. The orange with upturned nose centered in the middle of the album cover alongside the tongue-in-cheek “Parental Advisory” sticker further suggests an investigation of those times.
The latter is a similarly brazen cultural emblem to the blown out and attitudinal riffs across Cobra Juicy. You can still here the amp buzzing behind the opening notes of “Hairspray Heart”, which is 2:44 of punchy, primitive pop-punk versus lush, space-out zones of vocoder and speedily-sequenced synths. “Gangs In The Garden” squelches the same way though with a persistent disco beat.
Where frontman Thomas Fec leaves us a little more room to breathe, there’s more a nod towards the kaleidoscopic psych tropes of golden 60s/70s rock, which get smoked out into what is a distinct combination of instrumental hip-hop (ala Flying Lotus, matthewdavid, Odd Nosdam et al.) and experimental pop.
The aesthetic swagger really opens up for a couple of ultra-beautiful moments: “Like A Sundae” is a positively transcendent, built on a classic 60s pop chorus melody, familiar sounding in the same way as the Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi swiped that Cat Stevens riff. “Spraypaint”, the final track, soars similarly close to prettiness, going out on a limb with the sweet chorus calls and distorted violin-like synth presents that prove it’s not just the dirty/gunked-up inferences of the cosmic that they’re good at.