Oh, what a difference two years can make. After gathering praise hither and yon for Dandelion Gum (Graveface, 2007) -- and making a massive impression on many a skull at South by Southwest 2008 with the combined assault of balloons, confetti and electronic-dappled noise jams -- the Pittsburgh, Penn., psychedelic experimentalists of Black Moth Super Rainbow say they’ve vaulted into a new hi-fi realm with the new Eating Us (Graveface).
Yet hi-fi -- and its promise of pristine sound forever -- doesn’t quite capture the twisted, tripindicular dreamscape of the band's fourth full-length. Instead longtime Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann has coated the drums and harpsichord-like keys with thick, chewy hairball distortion, an effect that eventually gives way to echo chambers of symphonic synths, ready for takeoff to the next galaxy and propelled by a new live drummer.
Eating Us finds Black Moth Super Rainbow high on pop melodicism. The Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel comparisons begin with the creamy milky-way Vocoder-encrusted vocals that confide, reverberate then duck and dart amid squishy percussive blurts like a stealth pixie flitting in BMSR’s newly Air-freshened magical glade – and continue through to the chanson-primed chord progressions of “Twin of Myself,” “Gold Splatter” and “Fields Are Breathing.” Having conquered the critics with Dandelion Gum, a fully expanded BMSR appears to be testing out a newly consumable sound -- and how appetizing Eating Us is.
Black Moth Super Rainbow performs with School of Seven Bells and DJ Odd Nosdam Thursday, 5/28, 10 p.m., $12-$14. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. (415) 621-4455.
Creature feature: "Sun Lips" from Dandelion Gum