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Black Moth Super Rainbow: Dandelion Gum

Black Moth Super Rainbow: Dandelion Gum

Release Date:2007

By Michaelangelo Matos | Posted 9/12/2007

Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow is a five-piece with a live rep that netted them a current opening slot on the Flaming Lips tour. Listening to Dandelion Gum, the band's fourth album, it can sound like the lo-fi bedroom work of one or two people. That's got a lot to do with the way it sounds: keyboard-focused, fragmentary, variably muffled, offhanded. But it also has to do with the way the songs are written--or more the point, aren't quite.

It's undoubtedly part of Black Moth's design that most of Dandelion Gum's tracks sound like doodles rather than finished songs; that way, the thinking goes, they can be laid next to each other and create an entity greater than the sum of the parts. Except that sum is pretty much what Dandelion Gum adds up to. Kitschy soundtracks are evoked by the analog keyboards that dominate--think Moogs and mellotrons--and the warped timbres help give the album a retro glow, but most of what's here feels less ripe and cheesy than workaday. Ice-cream truck themes repeat a few times; some overprocessed vocals occasionally stroll through; a hazy, bong-fueled atmosphere is evoked; beats stumble along; and the bohemian fantasy of DIY ingenuity adds another notch to its belt. It's harmless stuff, even charming at times, and there are peaks, like the soft-focus, up-and-down keyboard pulses pushing "Rollerdisco" and "When the Sun Grows on Your Tongue" out of the background. But background is where most of the album ends up.

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