It’s easy to imagine the mouthful title of riff-rocking Roman trio Black Rainbows third album, Supermothafuzzalicious!! (double-exclamation points included), emerged as a spontaneous outburst upon hearing the record in studio playback. It’s about as apt a title as I could come up with, and though the band seem to be perpetually following the riffs of guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori, they have undertaken some creative growth since their 2008 debut, Twilight in the Desert, which while not without its charm or tonal appeal felt more singly derived from Kyuss. Released by Longfellow Deeds/Heavy Psych Sounds, Supermothafuzzalicious!! presents a Black Rainbows who come across as more mature musically without losing sight of a lighthearted lyrical nature. Songs like opener “Burn Your Nation,” on which Fiori personalizes a popular heavy rock theme of being born too late and, according to him, in the wrong place, and the much later penultimate “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – the title of which also comprises most of the lyric content – prove that while Black Rainbows have moved beyond their simplistic beginnings – 2010’s Carmina Diablo providing a transitional place between the first and third releases – Fiori, bassist Marco De Masi and drummer Daniele Conti are still having fun. Their love of the genre remains intact, and with upbeat, California Crossing-esque grooves on “Behind the Line” or “Brain Circles,” they stand in line with nigh on two decades of heavy traditionalism even as they manage to inject the songs with a personality that’s more distinctly theirs than anything they’ve done before.
The album’s 10 tracks/44 minutes divide into almost exactly even vinyl-ready sides between CD centerpiece cuts “Solar System” and “Lady,” and indeed Black Rainbows seem committed to physical formatting, as limited LP editions of Supermothafuzzalicious!! have been made available in several different colors (yellow, fuchsia, green) and both jewel case and digipak CDs are on sale. As regards their sound, it’s likewise thought out, as although Fiori and company maintain an air of spontaneity that only really wavers on side B dip “Mother of the Sun,” there’s also the clear impression the album gives that they’re fully conscious of what they’re doing in terms of the songwriting. These songs feel loose – in their construction, not performance – they feel accessible, warmly fuzzed, but underlying that, the strength of the choruses as delivered by Fiori and the smoothness of the rhythms carried across by his guitar and De Masi and Conti shows that there are no real accidents here. “Behind the Line,” which is the shortest song on Supermothafuzzalicious!! apart from the epilogue/closer, “Cosmic Flower Blues,” proves that. At 3:16, it is a treasure of groove-riffed simplicity, but each ebb and flow in Fiori’s guitar and the straight line that Conti draws on drums through the start-stop central figure is admirably committed to portraying heavy homage and serving the track’s catchiness. “Mastermind,” which follows, is longer and somewhat darker in its lyric, but still works in terms of the overall flow of the album. That flow is almost entirely unwavering throughout, and greatly aided by the balance of the mix, which puts the vocals on an even level with the guitar and De Masi’s bass – itself shining through on “Mastermind” in both its lockstep with and work around Fiori.