Black Moth Super Rainbow – Cobra Juicy

Rating: ★★ · · ·

I always have a great deal of respect for bands who aim to keep as much about themselves secret as possible, allowing their music to do the talking. Such is the case with Black Moth Super Rainbow—although this is their fifth studio release, little is known about the members of this group and they plan to keep it that way. An enigma or not, this is not their first rodeo, as they’ve been producing electronic experimental music for years.

Unnatural would be one way to describe the music of this group. Gone are all traces of humanness from these tunes, replaced with distorted and robotic vocals, layers of space-age synthesizers and mechanic percussion that never misses a beat. All of these elements make it very easy to get lost in the world that Black Moth Super Rainbow has generated, but something about their material keeps you along for the ride. Take the first number, “Windshield Smasher” for example. The song starts out with a bouncing beat and then dripping-with-distortion guitar joins the mix—at first it doesn’t quite sound too experimental. Then, the vocals, or a robotic emulation of vocals, and synthesizer are added to the mix, which adds a peculiar spin on the sound, leaving you wondering what exactly you are listening to, but grooving along nevertheless.

It seems that there are two ways to listen to this album: analyzing what you are listening to, or getting out of your head and jamming along with the band is offering to you. For me, I waiver back and forth between these two— certain songs just appeal more than others. Although, instead of the normal disparity between the merit of numbers, I find these songs to fall under the ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ umbrella. You have songs like “Windshield Smasher,” and “I Think I’m Evil,” that hold your attention for their duration, providing you with something different than your normal electronic beats to jam to.

However, there is a lack of variety in the songs that don’t call to your attention—all of this mechanic and inhuman sound begins to grate upon you as you progress in the album. Less and less do you find tracks that you are keen upon listening to, and instead are kept waiting for the knockout numbers that never really come on Cobra Juicy. The album slowly swirls into a mass of bass and beat and then ends, leaving you wanting for the enthusiasm that you possessed when you first began. Perhaps it is my own inability to pick up on the nuances from song to song, but Black Moth Super Rainbow get a little lost themselves on this release.

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