Moodie Black :: Nausea
Fake Four Inc.
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
The term "post-noise rap pioneer" had no meaning for me before
discovering Moodie Black. It seemed at first like one of those
pretentious invented descriptions people slap on things in an attempt
to sound cool and hip. You know the phrases: retro-futuristic,
ultra modern, neo-classical, hybrid fusion. They're often either
redundant or contradictory and devoid of any significance once
stripped of their hyperbolic context. Whenever something is
described as "post"-anything I always wonder what the "pre"-something
was before it, and why the artist is so desperate to differentiate
themselves from it.
This Arizona group may be able to justify their description by the
fact they're absolutely unlike almost anything else you can find in
hip-hop today save perhaps Death Grips. Since this review has already put undue focus on
invented descriptions I'd like to give you one of my own: "neo-punk
acid rap." Let's put the focus squarely on the word ACID
shall we? They sound like they've done a lot. This is the kind of
rap music that Raoul Duke would listen to. This is what kids who
grew up on the Beastie Boys, N.W.A and GangStarr turned into after
too many nights playing with postage stamps not to be mailed
and ink blotters that never wrote a letter. It's rap music that
was poured into a paint can, shaken vigorously, and thrown at
the wall by the handful until both art and insanity were on display.
Something either went seriously wrong or seriously right for lead
vocalist K. (C. Martinez) when he was left alone too long in the
Arizona desert. "No one can die like we do" vows the frontman on
the pulsing electronic background of "Mollyap," sounding like a
Commodore 64 SID generating white noise and being fed through a
series of amplifiers with increasingly frayed cords. This isn't
just grimy hip-hop, it's dank and musky. Thanks to the guitars of
Sean Lindahl and drums of David Norbert the tracks occasionally
take on the semblance of traditional songs, with "Linen Funerals"
striking an eerie resemblance to a D-Sisive production, from the dark sound to the dark lyrics.
Sometimes you just have to say "fuck figuring this out" and just
ride with it though - like the surprisingly up tempo "White
Buffalo," which has me picturing mosh pits at their concerts.
Try deciding whether "Christ" is mocking religion or declaring
themselves prophets of a new age and you may just conclude the
correct answer is BOTH.
It's as hard for me to knock Moodie Black for their style as it
is for me to recommend it to casual listeners. It may give you a
headache. It may in fact make you nauseous. It's intriguing though.
Whatever being a "post-noise rap pioneer" is, it's not the same old
shit you've heard before, and it's not like anything you'll hear
anywhere else. It feels like the antidote to a sickness I didn't
even know I had. This is the kind of album I would play after
listening to too many hours of tired cliches about wearing imported
clothes and driving expensive sports cars while hustling illegal
drugs. Moodie Black said fuck that, we'll just take the drugs,
and record whatever happens afterward. It's different and in this
case different is good - but you can't approach this like any rap
you've ever heard before. Open your mind to something strange.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 6.5 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: April 8th, 2014