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Tobacco Releases New Album, Maniac Meat, Featuring Beck, on May 25th on Anticon, Plus Previews New Matieral on Spring Tour


Tobacco is back and beastlier than ever with Maniac Meat, a record designed to bully his previous works into a corner, gut them, and leave ’em for dead. If the details seem scarce, it’s because that’s how Tobacco likes to keep them. Hailing from somewhere north of Pittsburgh, he has successfully made a name for himself even as, whenever possible, he’s avoided acknowledging that name’s legal counterpart. As both the frontman of Black Moth Super Rainbow and the sole creative engine behind Tobacco, he’s earned the eager ears and prying eyes of doggedly loyal fans and smitten critics alike – a kindness he’s repaid by granting few interviews, obscuring his face in photos, and seeming wholly uninterested in the subject of his own identity. Such things just get in the way of the music after all, so if it’s easier, you might think of Tobacco as music – a one-man genre made of equal parts analog crunch, earthy psychedelia, fuzzed-up hip-hop, and outside pop.

Until last year with the release of the Dave Fridmann-produced collaborative affair, Eating Us, Black Moth Super Rainbow was roughly treated as a solo project with Tobacco creating three albums and several EPs worth of sludgy pagan pop for his cohorts to realize live. Though over time, Tobacco came to crave a more pure musical identity, one steeped in guttural sounds that hit harder and flashed brighter. This fixation reared its ugly head as 2008’s beat-oriented Fucked Up Friends, Tobacco’s official debut. Now, two years later, with Black Moth Super Rainbow effectively relegated to “side project” status, Tobacco has returned with Maniac Meat, an album saturated with Tobacco’s swampy analog aesthetic. This is not an album about looking back – neither to the black psychedelic pop of BMSR, nor to the warped rap thump of Fucked Up Friends.

Rather, this album emerged as antithesis. Tobacco crafted Maniac Meat as he put the finishing touches on Eating Us, treating the solo release as a depository for his more primal urges. The only live instrumentation to cross over was the thrashing bass and clanging drums. But even as the Tobacco material grew darker, deeper and nastier in tone, it also became something with real swag. Not a hip-hop record, per se – just something that parties like one.

Is it any wonder that Maniac Meat – which plays like a dingy refraction of the pink-hued era that Tobacco came up in, the late ’80s/early ’90s – would attract the attention of Beck? He’s the record’s lone guest, alternately sparring and coasting with Tobacco’s well-known arsenal of vintage synthesizers, noise boxes and voice modulators.

Tobacco’s Maniac Meat, an album of odd beauty, organic as rot, enduring as death, is out May 25, 2010 on Anticon. Tobacco will tour leading up to the album’s release, including a stop in Austin for SXSW.

Maniac Meat Tracklisting:

01. Constellation Dirtbike Head

02. Fresh Hex (Featuring Beck)

03. Mexican Icecream

04. Lick The Witch

05. Sweatmother

06. Motorlicker

07. Unholy Demon Rhythms

08. Heavy Makeup

09. Grape Aerosmith (Featuring Beck)

10. New Juices From The Hot Tub Freaks

11. Six Royal Vipers

12. Overheater

13. Creepy Phone Calls

14. TV All Greasy

15. Stretch Your Face

16. Nuclear Waste Aerobics

Tobacco Spring Tour:

Fri. Mar. 12 – Toledo, OH @ Mickey Finn’s Pub

Sat. Mar. 13 — Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Tavern

Sun. Mar. 14 – Nashville, TN @ Exit In w/ DJ Kidsmeal, Blastoids

Wed. Mar. 17 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Annex (IODA’s Opening Day Bash) – SXSW

Fri. Mar. 19 – Austin, TX @ Barbarella (Anticon Showcase) – SXSW

Sat. Mar. 20 – Austin, TX @ Vice (Noise Problem Party) – SXSW

Sat. Mar. 20 – Austin, TX @ Longbranch Inn (The Imposition Party) – SXSW

Wed. Mar. 24 — San Diego, CA @ Casbah w/ The Hood Internet, Nice Nice

Thu. Mar. 25 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/ The Hood Internet

Fri. Mar. 26– Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar w/ The Hood Internet

Sat. Mar. 27 — San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill w/ The Hood Internet

Sun. Mar. 28 — Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall w/ The Hood Internet

Mon. Mar. 29 — Portland, OR @ Holocene w/ The Hood Internet, Small Black

Tue. Mar. 30 — Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey w/ The Hood Internet

Fri. Apr. 2 — Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club w/ High Places, The Hood Internet

Sat. Apr. 3 — Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle w/ The Hood Internet

Sat. Apr. 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory

“when the stuff is this jaw-droppingly great, more is definitely better.” – Kevin O’Donnell, Rolling Stone

“Whether drum, synth or samples flute, his source materials sound like they were pulled out of wet earth. . . Tobacco prefers to keep things ethereal and sweet, layered but uncomplicated, and heavily affected. . . Ambient passages and turntable affects are kept minimal, while everything else about Fucked Up Friends is gigantic. . . easily one of 2008’s best driving records.” – Chris Martins,The Onion’s A.V. Club

“swelling waves of dreamy keyboards and organs give way to unexpectedly gritty synth blomps, gripping beats, and the occasional tripped-out vocal tangent.” – Connie Hwong, XLR8R

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