4 out of 5
Taking aside the annoying preciousness of the BMSR concept – the crunchy-granola pseudonyms, the flowers-in-the-glen mythology, the ridiculously limited releases – the group’s music provides quite a bit to chew on. The spacious soundscapes, the seamless blending of seemingly incompatible instrumentation (Banjoes and synths? Sure!), the sense that this is the sound of the future of psychedelia … all of it makes for a compelling listen. When you put the music and the imagery together, though, you end up with some sort of Upper Appalachian rendition of a collision between Mercury Rev and Air. Thankfully, on the group’s fourth full-length album, BMSR has put the music front and center. Entering a full-fledged modern recording studio for the first time and, as part of the process, employing a full-fledged producer/engineer (Dave Fridmann) to assist Tobacco and crew with bringing their quirky musical visions to life, Eating Us winds up being the most intoxicating release from this lysergic band yet. The drippy, dreamy electronic flourishes of songs past are amplified and, although the vocoder is still in full effect, the lilting melodicism of the vocals invigorates songs like “Dark Bubbles” and “Tooth Decay” with a crispness and catchiness that, though certainly quirky, winds up making for an exceptional and substantial listening experience.
First appeared May 2009 in the print edition of Reax.