From the loveliest depths of Pittsburgh's underground comes Black Moth Super Rainbow's provocative tour de force, Lost, Picking Flowers in the Woods, out this week on Graveface Records. Compared to BMSR's earlier releases, "it's a little moodier," says front man Tobacco, "and a lot more real, since we used tape for everything instead of recording into samplers and computers. The drums are manipulated, but were all recorded live to tape first."
Indeed, tracks like "Flowers Grow Here" and "Guy with a Chinese Ax" burst with more life and groove than 2004's Start A People, while still maintaining the group's trademark atmosphere: melodic weirdness that makes listeners feel like they're on mescaline in a Buck Rogers world.
But even as "underground" becomes a new mainstream genre, BMSR remains unwilling to jump on some jive bandwagon in order to Make It Big. "I don't have to make a single compromise if I don't feel like it," boasts Tobacco. "I have yet to be forced to sit in some Pro Tools molester's studio. I have the power to decline your reverb."
Even so, he adds, "I'd love to get out of obscurity on our own ideals."
Luckily for BMSR ... and the rest of the world ... that time may be coming. After getting booted off its promised slot at the SXSW conference, the band toured across the nation to an overwhelming fan response, despite the fact they'd never previously performed west of Chicago. The band also recently hooked up with Austin, Texas, outfit The Octopus Project, and the group plans on releasing a split full-length album this summer as well as playing a few shows together. "Even if you don't like what we do," says Tobacco, "it's worth checking out for their stuff because I think it's the strongest they've ever been on record."
Even in obscurity, though, BMSR thrives. Notes Tobacco, "High points for me, personally, are when I finish work on a project and it turns out the way I wanted it, or the way it wanted itself to be. ... it's always a high point when you have a show in a new city, and you realize how many people out in the real world are into what you're doing. I'm never expecting it because we're really not even on the radar in our hometown."