My entry point for Black Moth Super Rainbow was seeing frontman Tobacco’s disturbing faux porn video for his song “Super Gum.” After years of casually listening to BMSR and even enjoying the odd album like Dandelion Gum, it was a perverse look at E.T. getting boned that got me hooked. What that says about me, I don’t know, but it sure worked. (You should see my Black Moth Super Rainbow tattoo. It’s a literal translation of their name!)
The Pittsburgh band’s fifth full-length, Cobra Juicy, was Kickstarter funded, and before you write it off completely for that reason alone, it should be noted that they offered some pretty cool swag (i.e. a black light-reactive BMSR Ugly Orange full-head latex mask like the one on the cover). Seeing as the guys raised over $125k, $80k more than the goal, well, this should be their best album ever just because of all that chedda. And if you’re the kind of listener who puts an album on to enjoy in the background, well, it’s probably their best.
Cobra Juicy is a bit like how I imagine crack to be: instantaneously addictive, dirty, unsettling, yet very euphoric. Their bubblegum synth rock reaches highs on “Gangs in the Garden” and “Dreamsicle Bomb,” which features both ends of their spectrum — a blown-out, distorted bass riff bombing and a hypnagogic lullaby, respectively.
But just like crack, too much of BMSR’s music can wear on you. While Cobra Juicy sees them discovering more hooks and streamlining, too much will leave you discombobulated and overwhelmed.