Review: Temple of the Moth – Temple of the Moth (robotarmpress, May 5)

a2077649508_10Yet another contribution to the already heaping 2021 quality harsh pile, Temple of the Moth’s debut self-titled release is a superb study in sputtering abstract psychedelia. On both of the two sub-ten-minute tracks one immediately notices a conspicuous lack of low end, a characteristic that seems a detriment—before the ensuing evolutions occur, that is. Crunchy, lo-fi, and oddly fragile, Temple of the Moth’s slipshod brand of freeform noise sculpting doesn’t exactly swoop and swirl like C.C.C.C.’s or stagnate like Mo*Te’s; instead it seems to detach from both extremes on the frequency spectrum, hovering in shuddering pseudo-stasis like a toxic sludge cloud. The panning, however, is the exact opposite, and the absence of much, if any, center channel presence further adds to the queasy liminality. As the titles imply, these haphazard masses of crackling distortion and wailing electronics progress differently over the course of each track—radially in “Ring Pattern” and more sporadically on “Spiral Pattern” (for all the bizarre synesthetic connections I make to music, I really don’t know what an auditory spiral would sound like). Temple of the Moth is presented as a nice, clean digital release ripe for the downloading, but in all honesty it sounds more like something heard on an unmarked cassette pulled from a weathered manila folder caked with dust from countless years at the bottom of your noise box (you guys have one of those too… right?).