Curb Your Cynicism, Pt. 2

In which the music editor pithily enthuses about new releases and reissues he thinks will enhance your life and erode your cynicism about the state of music, circa now.

Black Moth Super Rainbow
Dandelion Gum
(Graveface; graveface.com)
Release date: May 15, 2007

That band name; that album title; that CD cover. They all scream PSYCHEDELIC in boldfaced caps. And that's largely what you get with Dandelion Gum, although the psych-pop peregrinations that animate it are actually more subtle than I'm leading you to believe. The pervasive mood here is more "Strawberry Fields Forever" than "Purple Haze." Black Moth Super Rainbow's track titles also illustrate their aesthetic: "Lollipopsichord," "Jump Into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust," "The Sun Grows on Your Tongue," "Neon Syrup for the Cemetery Sisters," "Drippy Eye," etc. The press release states, with a straight face: "Dandelion Gum is a loosely based concept record about witches who make candy in the forest." Not another one of those...

These Western Pennsylvanians are whimsical, but not nauseatingly so, as many of this ilk can be too twee for words. Instead, Black Moth Super Rainbow inject enough distorted vocals and acutely fx'd flutes and wobbly-warbly keyboards into their morphing, lava-lamp-goo pop-song structures to keep the music lysergically weird. I'm reminded of trippy, proto-electronic cult bands like Silver Apples and Tonto's Expanding Head Band—lofty company indeed. With media attention from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, NY Times, and MTV, it seems likely these gentle eccentrics will attain buzz-band status, but even if they don't, their music will surely induce a nice one in receptive minds.

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