[Album Review] TOBACCO - "Maniac Meat"
If you have heard of the awesome psychedelic, electronic, rock band Black Moth Super Rainbow then for sure you know about the mastermind behind known as Tobacco. Tobacco is responsible for most of BMSR's song writing and is know by his eerie horror synths and creepy but beautiful vocoder voice which accompanies the sound of BMSR. However, some may know Tobacco through listening to his solo work (its not a side project, call it a side project and he'll skin you alive in the forest), mainly his debut album Fucked Up Friends, which initially started as an experimental Visual DVD scored by Tobacco and later became a full album in which Tobaxx showed off his style as an individual but stayed true to the sound that has made BMSR famous and also featured a guest spot from indie Hip Hop Artist Aesop Rock.
Tobacco returns to the music scene with his latest follow up to Fucked Up Friends titled Maniac Meat. Since the album dropped a little under a month ago, we have been obsessing over this electro masterpiece. Check out our personal takes on the album after the jump.
I've been a fan of BMSR and Tobacco ever since I heard Dirt featuring Aesop Rock and immediately fell in love with the sound created by both of these amazing artists. After FUF first released, BMSR shortly came out with there follow up LP Eating Us and as that album began to die down I needed my fix for this amazing mindfuck Tobacco and co. put me in. Later that summer the first leaks of what most of us BMSR fans thought was a new side project by Tobacco and Knife Vision called Maniac Meat. The first demos featured "Stretch Your Face" "Mexican Ice Cream" and "Nuclear Waste Aerobics" (at that time they were all untitled.) It was later reveled by the man himself that Maniac Meat wasn't a collab project it was the next album to follow up FUF.
The biggest announcement surrounding this album was Beck being featured as a guest artist on the album. However, that was an added bonus for me. So after a few leaks and months and months of anticipation, I got my first listen of Maniac Meat and from the get go it blew my mind. The first track of the album "Constellation Dirtbike Head" just rages through with nice distortion and heavy rock drums, mixed in with that awesome Tobacco signature sound, which started out the album perfectly. Up next was the first Beck feature, "Fresh Hex" which was originally a demo titled "Eating Us." What made this track stand out from its original was the way the song flipped around "Eating Us" sounded more up tempo than the finish product "Fresh Hex." Hex has a banging synth bass line and some true vocal fuckery by Beck, another must listen.
Other stand out tracks for me, were "Unholy Demon Rhythms", "Heavy Makeup", "Six Royal Vipers" and "Overheater." I would love to include the entire album as it is a complete masterpiece of something that is truly unique. Each track could stand on its own as a single and convince people to listen and grab this album right away. And if you were one of those lucky people who preordered this album and received the limited Bonus CD, Mystic Thickness, consider yourselves lucky and blessed as its extra material that didn't make the album that rocks to all hell as well. I highly suggest any music lover pick up this album as it will fulfill your craving for something new in each listen.
Rocko's Rating: 5 out of 5 bottles
It wasn't until Eating Us that I fully submerged myself into the BMSR-Tobacco world. It's very hard not to be enchanted by the melodic whirls and blips accompanied by Tobacco's ethereal vocoder accompaniment. After falling so hard for that record, I feared that Maniac Meat would be overly experimental and less approachable for newcomers, as this is typically the route some artists take to staying a "credible" act, but fortunately this was not the case. If Eating Us was BMSR's peaceful take on the world of experimental electronic-psychedelic, then Maniac Meat is what happened when Eating Us had one too many tequila shots one night. It's playful, quirky and fearless without becoming too "weird" or "unlistenable" to a casual passerby.
Within 30 seconds of the first track "Constellation Dirtbike Head", you will feel yourself immediately get excited and almost anxious to dive into the album. I remember on the first listen saying to myself out loud (walking down the street mind you), "Oh god, this is going to be such a fun record!" From that point forward, Tobacco leads you through this almost parallel universe where you experience this range of emotions, varying from wanting to dance on clouds and running around hugging everyone you see to being anxious that something sort of evil is coming to get you. My ears have yet to get bored with this record.
It did not hurt at all that Beck was a guest artist on this record, as I am one of the world's biggest advocates of everyone's favorite Scientologist. Having said that, I was very pleased that he didn't overpower the record with his alterna-aura, as he has been able to accomplish in his Record Club projects as well. Hearing his voice is just a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure why I never imagined the pairing before, but it was an excellent fit.
As for tracks that stand out to me on the record, I have been absolutely hypnotized by "Mexican Ice Cream". It's by far one of the best pick-me-up songs I've come across in a long time. It's equally wacky as it is sweet. It's very hard to not listen to this sing without having a stupid grin on your face by the end of it. It's that powerful. "Heavy Makeup", "Fresh Hex" and "Six Royal Vipers" are all outstanding tracks as well. Actually, there isn't a track on the album that I don't like. I will say "Lick The Witch" probably isn't as solid as the other tracks on the album, but even that not being over the top, it's still a really great song. You know how people ask those stupid questions like "What 10 albums would you want with you on a deserted island?" Maniac Meat would definitely be in the running.
Kibbe's Rating: 5 out of 5 bottles
5 out of 5 bottles