Black Moth Super Rainbow: Cobra Juicy
Cobra Juicy is Black Moth Super Rainbow‘s fifth, full length album. It all started out as a Kickstarter funded project, selling itself as an album to “declare death to hippies, excising all things flower power and tightening up what sprawl there was into a nastily bright pile of fuzzed guitar, live bass, hot synths and stubby rhythms—eleven pieces of hard candy licked, dipped in dirt, and wrapped up for you.” Quite an interesting way to start up and sell a project, right? Putting that all into layman’s terms, Cobra Juicy is actually a bit more tame than it sounds. Each track is like a playground for synthesizers and to be honest, it’s pretty rad overall. Cobra Juicy is unpredictable, digital, and a tad confusing. Is it actually those eleven pieces of candy that were dipped in dirt and wrapped just for you? Debatable.
Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Cobra Juicy is a no holds barred, assemblage of electronic ear-candy. This is music you listen to for fun. It’s nothing complicated, and listening to it almost makes you feel cool. An overly processed voice grants the listener access into some sort of hell where fruit is poison, and robots rule the world. The third song, “Hairspray Heart,” feels like a psychedelic trip, and paints a rather interesting image. The orchestra of synth and drum machines are merely there to help deliver the final result. Lyrically is where the song makes it’s stand. If BMSR lives up to it’s hype, it’s in what they have to say, literally. Again from the third track, the band’s frontman ‘sings’ out, “suckin’ all the poison from a snakebite, like a gummy drop,” and while this may seem simple enough, it’s the consistency that ties it all together. Cobra Juicy isn’t the name of the album, but a description of it’s content. It’s poisonous, it’s juicy. It really makes you believe you’re in some sort of alternate, surrealistic dimension. The eighth track further enforces this theme of a forbidden fruit. Heavy distortion, slow and strong bass beat, and some carefully chosen words later, you have “I Think I’m Evil.” From the beginning, once again Tobacco demands your attention and commands you to listen as he sings, “Dizzy, dizzy, lips so sticking, tasting, tasting everything. Lemon, lemon, I’m in heaven, tell me, tell me anything.” It’s like the devil is really trying to get you to take a bite of that fruit.
Despite lyrical consistency, the music of Cobra Juicy needs a little help. The track listing of the album feels a little off. It’s inconsistent. The first track “Window Smasher” is great. It’s energetic, it’s cool but when you immediately drop to something less distorted and as calm as “Like a Sundae” and then repeat this formula again and again–be it in tempo, or effects, or just the overall feel of the song–it kind of feels bipolar. As a whole the album doesn’t hold up well, but dissecting it piece by piece reveals gold amongst a confused mess.
Unfortunately, the album comes out at a bad time. Electronic music is becoming infinitely more popular as every guy with a laptop can make an artificial masterpiece. Let’s not get the wrong idea here, Cobra Juicy isn’t house, techno or dubstep; it’s far from any of that, but had the band cut the vocal track, half the album would come out as just another attempt at some sort of cut and paste electronic music. Add to the mess that Black Moth Super Rainbow (seemingly) tries to sell themselves on this over the top image, and you begin to question the credibility of the band as a whole.
Thankfully, BMSR has some footing behind this crazy, enigmatic, and rather silly image they put up. This isn’t some joke but an honest musical project. Cobra Juicy may be bordering on some dangerous lines of easy-to-make, easy-to-sell electronic music, but it has an incredible upper-hand on it’s competition. It’s dynamic, and unique. Every track does feel different, and sounds like someone actually sat down to figure out what the hell they wanted to make. The vocoder-molestation makes for some of the most interesting ‘singing’ today. Cobra Juicy has a lot to prove, and it does just that. Black Moth Super Rainbow should be proud, their newest album is creative, amusing, and somehow, actually weird in a good way.
MP3: Black Moth Super Rainbow “Hairspray Heart”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl