Review Summary: Rowdy riff-worshipping garage rock injected with distorted psychedelia and morbid undertones.
Countless bands think that wider expansion, more daring progression and more relevant and present-day concepts are the keys to developing their musical careers, and while these factors do help these bands gain a larger audience and hone their talents, they unknowingly following the same course as every other band treads: a flock of sheep, each one with a different coloured wool. Thus, isn’t it refreshing, every once in a while, to listen to a band whose principal focus is on simply creating an album full of nothing more than beefy riffs and infectious vocals"
Not that Black Moth’s third album lacks development or thematic inspiration- far from it. Yet, instead of drifting away from the simple techniques that make them successful, they stick to the same formula as their previous albums, subsequently maturing and mastering their uniquely ‘mothic’ sound with each release. Complete with new guitarist Federica Gialanze, “Anatomical Venus”
reveals itself as Black Moth’s heaviest effort to date and one that guides their mothic sound- a dark and wild blend of garage rock, dripping with revved-up distortion and hallucinating psychedelia- to a place where the hooks are sharper and the focus more collective.
is centralised around the waxwork female figures that were crafted to educate the 18th Century on human anatomy and biology. Complete with removable organs, glass eyes and genuine human hair, these figures were often sculptured in seductive poses and alluring expressions, contrary to their grisly use. Named after the Goddess of love, beauty and fertility, the Anatomical Venus symbolised the relationship between science, mythology and art. Black Moth’s music has always illustrated a darker, macabre undertone and they honour the concept that their new album draws influence from in tracks such as the provocative “Severed Grace” where Harriet Hyde mimics the waxwork’s constant alluring expressions by inviting the dissector to ‘Come in, come in, come in’ during the chorus suggestively. Other tracks, namely “Screen Queen” and “Pig Man”, are more upbeat and punky, and relate the models observing the world around them to modern times, illustrating vanity and monotony in the former and disgust and perversion in the latter.
In spite of the bizarre allure the Anatomical Venus’s exhibit and how Black Moth represents their character, it’s the music itself that makes this album so engaging. At this point, Black Moth could base their albums and songs around absolutely anything providing they continue to churn out meaty riffs like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Indeed, the riffs are as malleable and slick as the wax in which the anatomical cadavers are modelled from. “A Lover’s Hate” and “Sisters of the Stone” are the faster tracks on the album where gambolling drums collide against jazzy riffs a la Uncle Acid and Kylsea, meanwhile, “Moonbow” features muscular rhythms that flex between spiralling solos spidery melodies. Furthermore, peeling back the skin of Black Moth reveals the secret to what makes them so irresistibly accessible, most notably in the opener, “Istra”. Here, all members of the band are in perfect coordination with each other. The outcome of this collective focus is that when the infectious main riff, dreamy melodies and soaring chorus align, “Istra” sounds colossal.
Once again, Black Moth has created a brilliant album. One that oversees the band mastering their skills in place of any dramatic progression and one that continues their knack for producing irresistibly catchy songs while romanticising the macabre side of life. Three albums down, all Black Moth need to do to become more popular is keep doing what they’re already proficient in doing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.