Tobacco

    {grate 3}

    Gooey drug nostalgia has always been Tobacco’s m.o. — most noticeably in floaty pop five-piece Black Moth Super Rainbow, his main gig. Fucked Up Friends is a familiar trip, relying heavily on pitch-shifting vocoder tricks, Rhodes piano licks and old-fashioned breakbeats. Save for a hip-hop bent to the instrumentals and a special appearance by the bookish freak-emcee Aesop Rock on “Dirt,” Tobacco’s solo output is indistinguishable from the Boards of Canada/Daft Punk hybrid that humanized electronica in last year’s Dandelion Gum.

    But the thought of layering golden rhymes over the lazy-baked techno gems is something Tobacco should pursue wholeheartedly for a sophomore LP, since “Dirt” solves a minor fault that accompanies his drippy experiments — they all just start to blend together into one hallucinogenic mush.

    Like so: bursting synth, kick/snare drum and background bass riffs repeat for a few measures like a GarageBand preset with analog gusto. Then an entrancing vocal fades in and out with koan-like lyrics about melting away forever, holding hands and other acid epiphanies.

    It works especially well on cuts like “Side 8,” which lobs red-lining harpsisynth and evergreen rap beats for max versatility. Lots of Fucked Up Friends could hold up in a club or on a windows-down cruise, while still maintaining a weirdo veneer and sating serious electro-connoisseurs. Like comfort food, Tobacco fulfills base musical cravings, but after a few helpings you won’t need a fix for some time.

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