Panic Blooms

Northern Transmissions reviews 'Panic Blooms' by Black Moth Super Rainbow
Panic Blooms by Black Moth Super Rainbow

Our Rating

7.5/10

Creating a sound all your own means it sometimes won’t be for everyone. On the latest album from the collective genius of Black Moth Super Rainbow the group brings their sound to primitive depths to explore their writing in different facets. Though there’s something beautifully unique to what they do, the loose writing of it means it will often be difficult for people to get into it on their first listen.

Dense synth notes rock “Panic Blooms” as the group’s primitive tones come together in something raw and unusually melodic. This degraded energy brings an interesting emotional tone to the whole album, a it feels torn done in its sound alone. Something like “Baby In The Void” can feel as trippy as it is pained and struggling, though it can also be so loose at times it will be hard to really sink into it as a listener. As simple as something like “Rip On Through” is by comparison, it’s hard to argue as a listener that it’s a much more cohesive and accessible experience.

Despite being one of the shorter tracks on the album as a whole, “One More Ear” is a bizarre and excitingly Lynchian evolution of one riff down a rabbit hole of effects. Through “Bad Fuckin Times” the band constructs a haze to let its harmonies and beats play freely and in turn allows for some of most linear and accessible music of the record. There’s a real sense of grandeur amidst the demented hooks of “New Breeze” as Black Moth Super Rainbow mix hard rocking elements with some simple riff-based music.

The cutting tones of “Aerosol Weather” bites with an unnerving sense of distress, that makes listens as rhythmically enticing as they are unnerving. The subtle interlude tones of “June July 28” set a new tone for the album as a mix of soft guitars and ethereal synths create a spacey and Western vibe on the record. Chords wash over as though they’re stuck in the past on “Bottomless Face” giving a sense of disconnected bliss that is trying to claw its way back to reality.

“Permanent Hole” finds these keys catching up and layering with affected pain, as even the secondary synths and vocals end up feeling growly and outside of our reality. Like many interludes on this record, there’s a concise sense magic to “To The Beat of A Creeper” even as its static-filled production starts to pull the track away. Black Moth Super Rainbow hits a startling pop stride on “We Might Come Back” as beats, grooves and a wailing hook come together for the best single-power of the entire album and make a track you won’t soon forget.

This sense of cohesion persists into “Harmlessly” as they harness the best parts of their sound into something really tight and fun. As the vocals tumble breathily through this sound, there’s a sense of freedom that was missing from so much of the record. A different and angular pop sound comes through on “Backwash” as bass-filled background vocals rumble against piercing high synths. Tones of hip hop beat along as guitars bend out into the ether here for a track that is all about expression.

There’s a feeling of rest and relaxation on “Sunset Curses” as the lyrics suggest there’s something nefarious to things ending. It’s restricted arrangements let the melodies cut through sharper than most of the album and leave the song as a melancholy reflection on looking back. As things wrap up on “Mr. No One” the vocals become hazier and the band brings things together for one last marvelous exploration of their synth-heavy world.

Words by Owen Maxwell