Something screwy is happening in Pittsburgh. Enigmatic ringleader Tobacco and his too-thy troupe of masked pranksters make music that’s a mess of candy-coated contradictions. Black Moth Super Rainbow puts out an incongruous swirl of coarse, Beck-ish chip-hop beats and serenely melodious, Stereolab-style analogue daydreams. Their grimy acid-squelch synths are countered by sweetly pillowy ones, and the contrast is cherry-topped by Tobacco’s vocoded-to-infinity vocals, at once wispily innocuous and squirmingly sinister. What with the disguises, sugar-shock schtick and air of mischief, it’s no mystery which holiday these guys tend to favor. But their deliciously seedy fifth album, the pop-smeared Cobra Juicy (Rad Cult), is full of sweet noxious nothings that seem to conflate Halloween with Valentine’s Day: “Now that I’ve got you, my dreams are good/ We can go fuck up, the neighborhood,” Tobacco coos on “Dreamsicle Bomb.” Also: “You taste just like a gumdrop.”
Fri., Dec. 7, 8:30 p.m., $14-$15, with Casket Girls and Creepoid, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 215-232-2100, utphilly.com.