Review Summary: Well played Mr. Fec
A few years ago, Tom Fec’s moniker Tobacco started making some really sugary, really summery and really
trippy music with his band Black Moth Super Rainbow
. With his voiced masked by a vocoder backed by hip-hop drum beats and chillwave synth lines the music proved to be very distant and non-engaging, which was not necessarily a bad thing. This was music that you could put on in the background to sit around and clear your head. However, this niche that he held did nothing for its longevity. By the time BMSR released their 4th album entitled Eating Us last year it started to get a tad old. Not to say that it was bad, it just had no surprises and seemed quite formulaic. With that, Mr. Fec had a choice to either go for a different sound on Maniac Meat or play it safe and make another Dandelion Gum. He wisely chose the former.
Whereas an album like Dandelion Gum can be described as staring into an open grassy field in 80 degree weather with a stick of rock candy in your mouth, Maniac Meat can be described as taking that rock candy and using it as a cue tip; grating, yet so sugary. The setup has stayed the same (vocoder, hip-hop beats, 80’s synths) but the way in which he uses it has changed drastically by experimenting as a more in-your-face songwriter. This is no longer background music. Right off the bat with the opening song Constellation Dirtbike Head, Tobacco quickly engages you with a heavy, driving beat as his vocoder enhanced voice hums trademarked BMSR/Tobacco lines like “Feel the day, the hottest day. Don’t eat the berries around you” to make his regular listeners feel at home, despite such an obvious sound change. As if that did not convince the listener of his apparent sound alteration, the very next track, Fresh Hex, he summons Beck to throw down some disjointed and chopped up yet attention grabbing rhymes.
Everything about this album is just raunchier and places the listener in a heavy and fuzzier atmosphere. It seems like every beat is more phat (see Sweatmother), every tone is dirtier (see TV All Greasy) and Tobacco’s voice is even more mutated (see Heavy Makeup) than anything that he has done before. This change that Tobacco has made may not appeal to a much wider fan base or make any converts, but it certainly gives the existing fan base something different to listen to if they so choose.