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The Moth Poets - “Doll” (2018) review


The Moth Poets - Doll (Bearsuit, 2018)

The always fascinating Bearsuit label are back with the debut release from The Moth Poets, the nom de group of Edinburgh-based musician Billy Gilbert, who wrote, recorded, and produced this. We previously encountered Mr. Gilbert in his split album with Senji Niban (Live At The River Lounge, Bearsuit (2016) and as part of the international collective Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai (The The Lost Charles Underscore, Bearsuit, 2013).

On his own, he’s a little more challenging, as the title track implants his boot in your skull with an aggressively noisy heartpumping backbeat, like an industrialised Bush trading barbs with Nine Inch Nails. The glitchy ‘Someone Put A Time Bomb in My Submarine’ rolls out razor sharp shards of feedback and fuzz pedals and hitches them to a funky backdrop underscored with brainfrying electric chair sizzle.

Gilbert’s previous work with soundtrack-styled underscores surfaces in ‘The Shabby Gentleman’, albeit somewhat sidetracked by glitchy, scratchy surface noise. The ‘Mothship Song’ seems to be part of a two-part “theme” alongside ‘A Hole In The Mothship’, both of which recall his earlier fascination with DeWolfe film scores. The latter’s mellow, wistful ambience, along with the soothing cinematic ‘Battles of Tiny Collosus’ (reminiscent of some of Francis Lai’s scores) may be a welcome respite from earlier panic attacks! The album ends on a pensive note with the intergalactic space travels of ‘Orange Peel Teeth’ and the Morricone-ish ‘Shy Bear Buffalo’, leaving us with a lot to digest and another eclectic gem from those wacky wonders at Bearsuit.

- Jeff Penczak
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