Douglas Martin thinks Charlie should have opted to go to 24 Hour Fitness instead of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Another day, another Black Moth Super Rainbow-related project. The exhaustive prolific nature of the group and its core members has led me to believe that somewhere in Pittsburgh‘s industrial district, within the vast expanse of steel mills, lies a confetti balloon factory similar to that owned by William Wonka. Inside of this factory, bursting with life and color, are conveyor belts mass-producing ribbon-shooting guns, ice cream sprinkles, and various untested hallucinogenic drugs (naturally).
If you go to a secret wing on the upstairs floor, you’ll find exquisitely handcrafted ambient gems (Seven Fields of Aphelion), beat-driven hysterics (Tobacco), and, of course, the glittery psychedelia of Black Moth themselves. Just when you thought enough product was getting ship to the masses, band member Ryan Graveface returns with his Dreamend brand.
So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite opens with the twinkling indie-pop of “Pink Cloud in the Woods”, a richly textured almost-instrumental of epic proportions that commendably sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Where You Belong”, the track that immediately follows, combines acoustic guitars with woozy synths lifted at its anthemic finish by thunderous drums. Over the course of the next few tracks, it is revealed that the supernatant pop in the music masks the horrifying nature of its lead character, a serial killer driven by the thrill that courses through him with each subsequent murder. Of course, you wouldn’t be able to tell on tracks like “Interlude”, with its distorted shuffle or the bounce of “Pieces” unless you were actually listening to the lyrics.
In music, compelling narrative fiction is often underscored with (or, at times, bogged down by) simple, basic chords or unimaginative instrumentation, which makes the lush soundscapes of So I Ate Myself all the more fulfilling. Featuring a wide array of textures and musicianship, Dreamend splits the difference evenly between the bright folk-pop of Page France, the harsh drone of Infinite Body, and the multicolored hues and rhythmic depth of Black Moth themselves. On songs like album-standout “A Thought”, where he repeats, “I cannot stop in the middle” as a rumination of his protagonist’s thirst for blood, Graveface fuses all three together, enveloping everything in a blanket of distorted noise before cutting everything off in a whiplashed instant.
“I walk through life with no control,” sings Graveface on the record’s climax, the ten-minute “An Admission”, a driving number that sounds like the musical equivalent of driving through a terrifying cartoon forest, sparks shooting from the tires being the only source of light among the trees. It makes a lot of sense, being as though So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite is a record that feels like its own little world, an place that sounds like it could have only been concocted in a lucid dream. Or a factory that manufactures ice cream sprinkles.
MP3: Dreamend-“Magnesium Light”