Fucked Up Friends
Black Moth Super Rainbow only recently started work on a followup to 2007's critically lauded Dandelion Gum. In the meantime, BMSR frontman Tobacco (Tom Fec to his mother) has bridged the gap between releases with a solo disc. It's a CD that offers plenty of trippy synth grooves, and, like his band's work, comes shrouded in mystery.
The CD booklet for Fucked Up Friends features grainy video images, taken from a film which the music apparently scored, though the disembodied faces and scenes seem to have nothing to do with the disc or artist. What becomes clear, though, is that Tobacco handles all instruments and the occasional vocoderized voices, with the exception of a guest vocal on one track by Aesop Rock.
The 14 songs get their spark from Tobacco's affinity for vintage keyboards. Mellotrons add flute sections to "Hawker Boat" and "Berries That Burn," and a few tracks sound like a hybrid of soundtracks from '70s elementary-school educational films and adult films of that same era. On dirty grooves like "Street Trash," fuzzed-out synth bass makes the dance floor beckon. After hearing Tobacco's synthesized vocals on a few tracks, Aesop Rock's rap on "Dirt" brings a human voice to the party, with a torrent of non sequiturs, climaxing with the message, "This is not your parents' bio-organic war." Whatever he means, it seems to fit perfectly.
Things get repetitive, but these songs have melodies that are fully developed rather than a collection of riffs that get repeated ad nauseum; most of the songs don't last much longer than three minutes anyhow, so nothing gets a chance to wear out its welcome. Most significantly, the buzz from the music stays in your head.