Tobacco - LA UTI EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tobacco - LA UTI EP

by Leonie Mercedes Rating:8 Release Date:2010-12-08

Happily, Mr Tom Fec, aka Tobacco hasn't quite finished with us for the year. The reclusive frontman of dormant psych-pop outfit Black Moth Super Rainbow follows up this summer's solo album Maniac Meat with LA UTI EP, a selection of tracks either left off the LP or with the addition of vocals. Curiously, it's these (sometimes unnecessary) addendums that prove just how brilliant a producer Fec is.

Tobacco's sound is unmistakable. A panoply of vintage synths rub up against each other to generate prickly heat while frenzied arpeggios pulsate beneath, all with the salty breath of a garage band. While sometimes claustrophobic, it's never chaotic, and manages to be both controlled and whimsical at the same time. Where BMSR were pop, Tobacco solo is made of harder stuff. His aural landscapes do lend themselves readily to the stylings of hip hop, a notion that for this EP hasn't gone unnoticed.

Each song on LA UTI EP has its guest vocalist; Baltimorean rapper Height successfully capitalises on the solid hi-hat break of 'Sweatmother' while the vocals of Rob Sonic weave themselves effortlessly around the bass-led swagger of 'Lick the Witch'. However, this marriage of Tobacco to rap isn't always a blissful one. With the first track 'TV all Greasy' already squeaking under its own weight, the 'worthy' rhymes of Anti-Pop Consortium feel a little laboured and clunky stuck on top. It's immediately clear why Beck's chopped up nonsense lyrics on the last Tobacco single 'Fresh Hex' work so well, complimentary as they are. While it's not the best start to the EP, it manages to recover pretty much instantly with 'The Injury'. Featuring Adam 'Doseone' Drucker's speedy emceeing, it's a rugged noise-driven cut that lurches along like an angry alligator.

Tobacco's exclusive use of analogue equipment lends everything a warm husky hum which is rare and glorious to hear. The absence of any vocal sometimes goes in the favour of the music, as found in the recesses of Maniac Meat, though on the strength of this EP, the rap avenue is certainly one that could be further explored.

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