Two or three tracks into The Fears, thoughts immediately went to Jack Dangers of Meat Beat Manifesto and to Scorn’s Mick Harris. The music is distinctly different from both, but the influences seem so obvious. Onto my research, I discovered that Mothboy’s Simon Smerdon lists both as influences and has even worked with Mick Harris. And very similar to Meat Beat Manifesto, Mothboy will likely be categorized in a genre that he doesn’t totally fit in. The electronics play such a subdued role to the various instruments, ranging from Saxophone to harmonica but masterfully pulls in the deep scorn-esque bass in all the right places. Down-tempo and jazz blur beautifully on “stuck in a moment” and “Second Spin R.I.P.” Rumbling bass and groovy beats on the 13 tracks are hard to define, but may be classified somewhere between dark-hop and illbient – two newer genre’s that have had few artists emerge from. Mothboy takes his diversity even a step further on “All the wrong places” with rapped vocals and groovy bass that give me “It’s in my brain now” flashbacks. Currently living in London, Mothboy previously played bass guitar in metal bands. I predict that Mothboy will be an artist that keeps us on our toes – who knows what he will do next. No doubt it will be excellent.
This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, December 2004, Issue 192.