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rough trade exclusive with a bonus 9 track cd 'mystic thickness' recorded at the same time as the album. these are no throw away bonus tracks - these could have easily made the cut for the album. seemingly relegating black moth super rainbow to 'side project' status, that band's mastermind tobacco bullies his previous works into a corner, guts them and leaves 'em for dead. though 'maniac meat' is steeped in the pennsylvania-based artist's swampy analog aesthetic, this album does not look back-neither to the black psychedelic pop of black moth super rainbow nor to the warped rap thump of tobacco's 2008 debut, 'fucked up friends' - rather, it emerges as antithesis. tobacco crafted 'maniac meat' as he put the finishing touches on black moth super rainbow's more accessible last record, 'eating us', treating the solo release as a repository for his more primal urges. the only live instrumentation to cross over was the guttural stuff: thrashing bass and clanging drums. but even as the tobacco material grew darker, deeper and nastier in tone, it also became something with real swag. not a hip-hop record, per se-just something that parties like one. opening track 'constellation dirtbike head' hits the ground running: cymbals crashing, keyboards firing, fuzz bass blasting. tobacco's distorted vocals sound like something exhaled from a bog, gushing, 'burn all your things,' like a mantra directed at his back-catalog. later, the chest-crushing 'unholy demon rhythms' sets itself on fire, melting a beatbox sample and jean-michel-jarre-like synth excursions into a hot, tactile mass. one of album's best, 'heavy makeup' is upbeat electro-pop caked in wet earth, eventually interrupted by a searing harmonica solo. it's wonder then, that 'maniac meat' - which plays like a dingy refraction of the pink-hued era in which tobacco came, the late '80s / early '90s - would attract the attention of beck hansen. he's the record's lone guest, alternately sparring and coasting with tobacco's arsenal of vintage synthesizers, noise boxes and voice modulators. on 'fresh hex,' beck's alliterative, free-associative rap is chopped to bits over baroque key sequences and whirring effects, while on 'grape aerosmith,' the chameleonic singer stretches out in a pool of flickering etherea. as 'nuclear waste aerobics' brings the album to a close in a hail of uncouth drums and aggressive fuzz that eventually unfurl into a billowing quilt of lush, legitimately bright sound, 'maniac meat's greatest strength becomes clear. in all of that unchecked destruction, an odd beauty persists - organic as rot, enduring as death.
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