While a cobra is one of the most feared snakes in the world, it usually wont attack unless provoked. And although their venom is truly a toxic death call, there’s comfort in realizing that like other dangerous creatures: there is plenty of chance. Although Black Moth Super Rainbow’s fifth album, Cobra Juicy, doesn’t mention much about the craft of a cobra snake, the juicy inner linings of this expansive release conveys a sprawling and versatile creature all its own.
After the 70s vibe of Eating Us, main singer/songwriter Tobacco took time recording solo material before returning to the band for Cobra Juicy. Along the way he endured one album before scrapping it entirely and writing the new material that made it onto the album. The ending fruition is the dynamic presence of electronics mixed with rock and pop sensibilities – the vastness basks underneath an orange light. Like the cover, these songs are playfully sinister and frequently mesmerizing – a lot like a cobra. On “We Burn,” the lackadaisical style fuses a jagged drum pattern and a hazy overcast of atmosphere into a musty outlook. These newfound sounds are equally enticing and vibrant, without ever over-polishing anything. As the synthesizers break away, Tobacco and friends regard the music as something affecting and creative, and the flow allows for smooth transitions.
On Eating Us, a lot of the sounds were softer and not as dramatically colorful; songs like the pensive “Twin of Myself” were groovy but lacked some bite. In contrast, Cobra Juicy employs a richly flourished amount of instruments and sounds that are catchy and full of life. On “I Think I’m Evil,” the burning bass line compliments the soaring echoes of the guitar as it screeches away and while Tobacco complicates his thoughts with morbid lyricism, there’s the head-nodding exposure of the music to behold. As the album progresses, it rides the wave of momentum it started with a strong beginning and propels to a fluid enjoyment of blissful music. Even “Dreamsicle Bomb” disguises its full intention with a Led Zeppelin-esque organ driver, before a breathy vocal delivery. The music carries on a poppy, circular feel and the beats remain passively at the forefront: rhythmically classy and impressively full-bodied.
From the outset, on opener “Windshield Smasher,” the band injects much-needed venom into their style with crashing cymbals and propulsive bass and synth lines. While the music still maintains a sublime ebb and flow that lends itself well to the album’s eleven sprawling songs, here the opening song is a pacing, impactful entrance. It’s a fantastic leading into the following “Like a Sundae” and its relaxed temperament. And although it’s much easier to flow from one spectrum to the other with tender transitions, Cobra Juicy relies on the sentiment that variety is still very much important. There’s a lot of skin the band has shed through its five albums and this new one is not far removed from erstwhile strategies – driven, invitingly fresh and uniquely layered – it’s clear Black Moth Super Rainbow believe in chance and still, have plenty left to offer.