Thursday, 7 July 2011

Black Moth / XM-3A Split 7" Review

Black Moth/ XM-3A
Split 7”
New Heavy Sounds

It’s slightly disappointing to receive a promo copy of Black Moth and XM-3A’s split 7” (On clear vinyl no less!) on CD, but ultimately it’s the content I’m here to review, not the format.

As with any split release one band is going to triumph over the other and take the plaudits, in this case it’s Black Moth, with their contribution “Spit Out Your Teeth”. It largely reminds me of former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins’ bassist Melissa Auf der Maur’s solo work, with Harriet Hyde’s vocals in particular reminding me of Melissa’s voice with a slight air of L7 creeping in. The lyrics are suitably kooky, hinting at dark, windy nights and black cats. If the line “If you believe me I can’t let you go, I couldn’t let something bad happen to you, you’re safe with me here, so stay with me here and nobody evil of bad will come near.” was sung by a man it would sound laughable, but Harriet delivers it perfectly. With a couple of heads down, balls-out riffs (The one around the three minute mark is suitably Sabbath-esque) upping the ante at just the right time there’s much to suggest that Black Moth’s album, which is slated for an autumn release, will be worth investing in.

XM-3A weigh in with “It’s Possible – Part 1”, which frankly leaves me with no desire to hear “Part 2”. It’s the vocals which kill it dead for me, which to these ears sound like Austin Power’s character Fat Bastard attempting to impersonate Lemmy. And the lyrics, well the line “I go down to the town, I think I’ll take a look. I go into the library, guess I’ll get a book.” just sounds awful. Granted the repetition of the songs main motif “It’s possible, not impossible.” succeeded in burrowing into my brain, that’s not to say I enjoyed the experience. There is a flicker of hope in the music, which with some meaty riffs and a hint of organ reminded me of long lost Brit hopefuls Headswim. Ultimately if you choose to put out one track on a split release though that’s what you’re going to be judged on and on the basis of this four and a half minute track I won’t be scouring the racks for XM-3A’s future releases.

Andrew Whittaker

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