Building up layers of synthesiser and creating an engagingly ethereal – by which I mean otherworldly but without being atmospheric like Sigur Rós – sound, Black Moth Super Rainbow are as unexpected as their name.
The band make great use (perhaps to the point of great overuse) of filters and vocoders, which take the voice of frontman Tobacco (the band members all have nicknames, like Animal Collective but weirder – The Seven Fields of Aphelion, Father Hummingbird, etc.) and convert it into that of some extraterrestrial being. These vocals sit upon a bed of smooth electronica with, at times, a slightly funky edge.
With all the layers of electronic instrumentation and obfuscation, the tracks on Eating Us very easily blend into one long drifting dream of an album, where no single song ever seems to come to the fore. This is enjoyable in that it makes agreeable background music, but it is not music I would ever go out of my way to listen to. I appreciate it but wouldn’t seek it.
It is interesting to imagine how these songs might sound without their blurring electronicisation – certainly not like Black Moth Super Rainbow! Yet I can’t help but feel that some of them would be better off for losing this ethereal tone I have mentioned. After a while it does become a bit monotonous, one long dirge that, whilst entertaining to start with, eventually becomes a little boring.
As a result, it is very difficult to single out any stand-out songs. In fact, it is the final one (nicely titled ‘Untitled Hidden Track’) that sticks in my mind the most, which, tellingly, does without most of the filtered electronic sound that seems to define Black Moth Super Rainbow.
I can’t say I’d recommend this album, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to avoid it – instead just let it play, let it be background music, appreciate it for what it can give, but don’t expect wonders.
Words: Robbie Hayward