Taste the Cobra Rainbow, It’s Juicy
There is a sense that the listener should know what they are signing up for when they opt to listen to a band that identifies its current members as Tobacco, Ryan Graveface, Iffernaut, Bullsmear, and The Seven Fields of Aphelion. Black Moth Super Rainbow, dripping in psychedelia and futurism, has never been designed for the faint of heart. Whether this is deemed as a blessing or a crutch, their lean towards the otherworldly by means of heavy sonic experimentation and lyrical abstraction has always been a defining trait. Fortunately for the casual listener, this is the closest that Black Moth Super Rainbow has ever come to producing a controlled album, which is perhaps why Cobra Juicy is a smashing success from our forefathers of esotericism and ambivalence.
The album’s standout moments come from its most cohesive tracks. Catchy drums and a crunchy guitar lick start Cobra Juicy off with a bang on “Windshield Smasher.” The chief hook in the song comes from synths that seem tangled up in a cosmic dance, only this time around, Black Moth Super Rainbow wants you to know the steps. It’s hard to not be enamored by the time frontman Tobacco comes in, full of robotic love and chiming, “Show me the way you make my dreamin’ okay / You love my hair because it grows every day / We get so happy with the hearts that we break / Hairspray, gasoline and roller skates.” Herein lies the essence of Cobra Juicy; it is sublimely futuristic, undeniably catchy and often lyrically impenetrable.
The jangling hip hop beat, slide guitar and instantly gratifying vocals on “We Burn” evoke dreamy soundscapes reminiscent of some of finer moments provided by French duo Air. “Gangs in the Garden” is the shortest and arguably the most tenacious track of the eleven total. As long as the listener suspends their disbelief and accepts the fact that they will never understand a word that Tobacco is shouting from the mountaintops (in full robot suit), it’s hard to not be swept away.
Black Moth Super Rainbow prove their own sanity with the final track, “Spraypaint.” Despite their natural inclination to lean toward the bizarre, sometimes drowning their listener in a whirlpool of abstraction, they choose to end their album with charm and an almost alarming emotional sincerity. Perhaps the most readily available criticism toward Black Moth Super Rainbow is the obvious one, suggested by the album title and artwork, even spelled out in their band name. Black Moth Super Rainbow is a band that prizes nonsense. Their lyrical and aesthetic stance is something akin to Dadaism, wherein meaning is often provided by a lack thereof. But the vulnerability in “Spraypaint” and the overall cohesion of their artistic vision in Cobra Juicy shows Black Moth Super Rainbow at the top of their game and leaves the skeptics standing on faulty ground.