Album Reviews

Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us

(Memphis Industries) UK release date: 8 June 2009

According to relatively reliable sources, the first 2,000 copies of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s latest opus are being sold in either brown or silver hairy summer jackets.

Silver, please – for no other reason than it suits the band’s music better. For this album looks set to be a more polished affair, sacrificing some of the group’s more experimental tendencies, scrubbing up what remains with something of a pop sheen.

Their names – The Seven Fields Of Aphelion, Power Pill Fist, D.Kyler and Father Hummingbird – give the game away; these are not people who live their musical lives four beats to the bar, 24/7, and certainly not the 9-to-5. As Black Moth Super Rainbow their music comes together with a kind of lush weirdness.

It also sounds like it was dreamt up in the middle of a field, which is pretty close to the truth as it goes, the original studio seemingly a shed in the Pennsylvanian woods. Given the UK’s current preoccupation with the best in the American outdoors – step forward the Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and a good number of Bella Union acts – it seems like a recipe that should work.

It does, largely, thanks to a large helping of bass. A dreamy flute introduces Dark Bubbles, but it’s the lumbering groove that really pushes it into action. Gold Splatter is the one exception, a rather psychedelic dream making itself apparent in some high falsetto vocals, before the texture suddenly opens out into a wondrous widescreen panorama at the end. Smile The Day After Today, meanwhile, is an almost throwaway scene of two and a half minutes, which wouldn’t make much of an impact were it not for the beautiful colours evoked.

Even though some of the titles – Born On A Day The Sun Didn’t Rise, Tooth Decay, American Face Dust – suggest this might be inward looking and face down material, it actually proves to be far more affirmative, the dreamy instruments giving the deadpan vocals some much needed colour. The former title, the album’s lead single, is the closest the band have yet come to a fully fledged song, its ethereal quality suggesting a kind of subdued, electronic version of All About Eve.

So we progress through 12 songs that dip in and out of your consciousness, that don’t hang about for long and don’t even demand too much attention, but somehow leave their mark for some time after they’ve gone. Strangely haunting, and weirdly affecting.

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Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us