Album Review: Exorcise Tape

I’m still bummed that Tom Fec didn’t take Black Moth Super Rainbow to New York or Philly again during the second leg of their recent tour to support Cobra Juicy, which landed at #2 on our Favorite Albums of 2012 list. Fec is better known as Tobacco, the synth-obsessed alter ego of the BMSR mastermind. Lucky for us, Fec continues to put out project after project. Demon Queen is Tobacco’s collaboration with Tuscon-based MC Zackey Force Funk. Fec’s admitted that he’s been pushed in the past to work with rappers but was unsure how such a mix would work until now. The resulting session is Exorcise Tape, a full LP of recognizable Tobacco beats and synth grooves set to the falsetto of Zackey Force Fuck, as well as various other guest rappers.

For the most part, the record works. Opener “Lamborghini Meltdown” has been around since 2010 as the closing track on his LA UTI 12″. While the re-release of the song is a bit odd, it makes sense to re-introduce us to how all this got started. There are some uneven moments on the record throughout, but the rap verses actually fit perfectly with what Tobacco has brewed up here. It’s an out-of-the-box approach, and I commend Fec for expanding his reach. It’s just that a part of me yearns for Tobacco’s vocoder during some of the rap verses.

“Swoll Tongue” and “Love Hour Zero” are the obvious standouts here. The former features crunchy guitar riffs (ala “Hairspray Heart“) playing over sun-drenched synths with falsetto vocals. It’s all in line with the best moments from Cobra Juicy. The latter is the most accessible, and, possibly, one of the best tracks Tobacco has released to date. Layers of various synth melodies, bass, and a live drum kit support a mind-numbingly epic synth while Zack Funkey Force’s falsetto takes front and center. Both songs will certainly appear on our favorite tracks list later this year, and the video for “Love Hour Zero” is our favorite of the year so far.

Mark Written by:

Avid concert goer and film buff obsessed with indie and electronic music.

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