Thursday, November 22, 2007

Black Moth Super Rainbow

Dandelion Gum

There is a grainy, Technicolor aesthetic wrapped around Black Moth Super Rainbow’s brand of day-glow, psychedelic pop that glows with a dull hue on Dandelion Gum, the group’s fourth proper full-length. The pleasant pace and fuzzed-out electro qualities of BMSR’s songs are sometimes misleading. Electronics are only a small part of what the group does, but never has this been more apparent than with this record. At a glance the group comes across as a whimsical, lo-fi cousin to a nebulous group, like Boards of Canada, only slightly drug-damaged.

As the slow motion melodies and scrapping, vocoded voice in “Forever Heavy” phase into the immediacy of the warm, acoustic strum of “Step into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust,” the transition is mind-altering and this is no accident. BMSR has reached a higher level of cognition with its minimal rhythms and maximized textures than what the group has previously not attained.

“Spinning Cotton Candy in a Shack Made of Shingles” reaches a noisy and melancholy level of emotional depth that didn’t seem to be a part of BMSR’s cannon until now. “Dripping Eye” pushes the levels of the group’s antiquated instruments to epic new heights, and the jazzy, Euro techno blast of “Lost Picking Flowers in the Woods” becomes the defacto dance floor hit. It is at once bouncy and cheesy while walking a line of dark psychedelic grooves. The scratchy surface noises and clunky aspects of the album give just as much to the songs as do the childlike melodies and metric rhythms. Dandelion Gum is BMSR’s first offering where all of these elements meld seamlessly into a consistent pop form that transcends kitsch and experimentation to coalesce in a truly colorful and truly great sound.

--Chad Radford