Review: Moth Cock – If Beggars Were Horses Wishes Would Ride (Hausu Mountain, Nov 29)

Covering as much new music as I do allows me to classify groups of releases based on some pretty inconsequential similarities. Astor’s The Aubergine Dream and Moth Cock’s newest tape If Beggars Were Horses Wishes Would Ride don’t share many qualities (apart from the fact that they’re both quite strange), but nonetheless one can associate them based on the hilarious text-to-speech introductions featured on each. On the latter the computerized deadpan is provided by Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and honestly could function as a capable review of the album were I to transcribe it in its entirety—which I actually tried to do but the accent of the vocalizer makes a lot of the words unintelligible. If Beggars Were Horses continues the duo’s evolution into a style that brings together toy percussion patches, processed wind instrument skronk, erratic electronic freakouts, and God knows what else to create a roiling stew of noise. Even the most abrasive noises that Moth Cock conjure are swaddled in a smooth, synthetic outer coat of shininess, and much like their previous album 0-100 at the Speed of the Present the compositions often tread through territory that resembles meditative ambient music. After a tumbling and tumultuous A side (the latter quality is especially present in the volatile sonic amalgam of “If Beggars Were Horses”), the tape concludes with a pair of twelve-minute tracks that prove how truly bizarre yet infectiously magnetic Moth Cock’s creations can be. From the way “Wishes Would Ride” starts it definitely doesn’t seem sustainable over that long of a duration, but the bouncing rhythm loop soon reveals itself as a base for steadily unfurling waves of squalling distortion and effervescent pulses as its propulsive hi-hat hits drive everything forward—that is, until around the halfway point, when it all breaks down into frenetic chaos. The incendiary drumming and cavernous atmosphere of “If Bayonets Were Turnips” bring this wonderful release to a fitting close.

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