Black Moth Super Rainbow is a psychedelic exercise in contradictions. Its vocals are processed into a robotic hum, and its melodies emanate from a host of synthesizers well suited for a sci-fi soundtrack. Yet there’s something undeniably organic about the warm analog effects, a lingering humanity so buoyant it survives the unrelenting tide of mechanics. The band’s chord progressions tend toward the eerie and ominous, capturing a subtle darkness while maintaining a pop-friendly optimism that’s as confusing as it is pleasing. It’s unmistakably electronic, but it’s inherently psychedelic rock. It’s music that makes you want to dance and zone out in a hazy trance. In other words, Black Moth Super Rainbow is one hell of a balancing act. But one gets the feeling that the band hasn’t given its dual nature much thought. Which is probably why Black Moth Super Rainbow pulls it off so well.
More on the band’s history from its bio: “Black Moth Super Rainbow started in 2003 as a solo project by frontman/songwriter Tobacco. After putting together a live band by the end of the year, the sound of BMSR was slowly brewing until its breakout in 2007. From having a shining SXSW to touring with the Flaming Lips, and then Aesop Rock, it was ultimately the release of BMSR’s third LP, Dandelion Gum that brought it all together. The press described it as ‘Daft Punk does ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’’ and that still remains a pretty good doorway description of BMSR’s sound. It released the slightly more band-oriented Eating Us in 2009 (produced by Dave Fridmann) and then just kind of disappeared for a few years. Tobacco went off with his more solo ‘solo’ project and enlisted the like-minded Beck for the 2010 TOBACCO album Maniac Meat, which took the Black Moth sound and microwaved it in a bowl of chicken grease, on high. Now that the break is over, BMSR is back with a new focus, one that’s maybe a little more sour than sweet, and a fifth LP called Cobra Juicy. Back to being recorded completely solo, Cobra Juicy is a more balanced affair with as many demon skater anthems as there are lush, pretty moments. It’s also an experiment in going as far over to the pop side as possible without tearing through the wall.”
Black Moth Super Rainbow returns to Asheville for a show at The Orange Peel on Saturday, June 1 (previous stops included a performance at The Grey Eagle in 2011 and a slot at last year’s Moogfest). Stay tuned to the Xpress Facebook page this afternoon for a chance to win tickets.