Black Moth Super Rainbow- Eating Us (Memphis Industries)

This is my first encounter with the excitingly named Black Moth Super Rainbow- a Pennsylvania collective made up of the even more excitingly named Father Hummingbird, Power Pill Fist and best of all a gentleman who rejoices in the given moniker of The Seven Fields of Aphelion (what were his parents thinking?) alongside the rather less excitingly named D. Kyler and a frontman simply known as Tobacco.

I wonder whether Tobacco has actually smoked so much of the stuff that he’s had to have a full tracheoctomy, and has had his voicebox replaced by a vocoder device? This would explain much, as the vocals throughout Eating Us are uniformly compressed and robotic. Instrumentally, there are loud, tumbling drums, distorted organ, burbling bass and sweeps of synthesised strings. In a nutshell, Eating Us sounds very much like Moon Safari by Air. Which is not neccesarily such a bad thing, it’s just that it’s all a bit… 1997.

So ‘Dark Bubbles’ cuts from gently picked acoustic guitars to an avalanche of crashing drums, while ‘Twin of Myself,’ is all sparkly post-disco and “chilled electronic beats” (or should that be beatz?) as I believe the young people say. Indeed, this will probably be the hit of the summer amongst the kind of folk who go to festivals like Beachdown and The Big Chill, and will doubtless soundtrack many a beery Sunday roast in trendy pubs with low distressed wood coffee tables and big soft sofas.

Titles like ‘Tooth Decay,’ ‘The Sticky’ and ‘Bubblegum Animals’ nail the problem: it’s all a bit too sickly sweet, too much like pink candy floss. Only ‘Iron Lemonade’ brings a sinister edge to proceedings, conjuring up an image of brightly painted wooden soldiers advancing down the Yellow Brick Road, bayonets at the ready, while B52 bombers swoop low over the emerald city.

At best, you could see this as a 21st Century update of 60s soft psych and sunshine pop, but for that you’re better off with somebody like Caribou; to me this already sounds both dated and soporific. Pleasant enough, as a stoned soundtrack to a baking summer afternoon, but it’s a comfortable regression, not a bold step forward. Groovy names notwithstanding, this is hippy womb music; kicks, visions and epiphanies not included.

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