Black Moth Super Rainbow's fifth full-length represents the first time I've contributed to Kickstarter. If Amanda Palmer and Animal Collective's Geologist have taken heat for their inefficient crowd-sourcing efforts, Black Moth mastermind Tom "Tobacco" Fec has done everything right by sending out regular updates, shipping merchandise as it becomes available* (from downloads to hand-crafted masks), informing donors about delays, etc. In other words, his music may be weird and wiggy, but the guy knows how to run a business.
* Though the record doesn't come out until next week, I received my copy yesterday.
So what of the album? In all honesty, Cobra Juicy didn't grab me the way 2009's Eating Us did. Not at first, anyway. After spending several weeks with it, however, I've adjusted to the fact that it's less psychedelic than before. There's a greater emphasis on electronics and dance beats—not that those elements didn't play into their last record, but now they take on a more prominent role.
But it's a retro, glam-rock approach to dance music. "Hairspray Heart," for instance, make extensive use of fuzz bass, video-game sound effects, and a simulacrum of Gary Numan's synth rig (and the line, "Like a fucking diamond"). Then, on "Gangs in the Garden," Fec gets a one-man call-and-response thing going by alternating his soft, girlish vocals with a macho vocoder rejoinder.
At key moments, he incorporates fillips of slide guitar that fit in better than they should, but this degree of variety might still be too much for some listeners—even longtime fans—to take. I think he's just doing what feels right without worrying if any of it makes sense, and the more I listen, the more it coalesces into a cohesive experience. And it's definitely one of my favorite records of the year.
Rad Cult releases Cobra Juicy on Oct 23. Stream it above or via Paste.