Black Lips – Underneath the Rainbow

Black Lips swap the party-garage for country-ditties that definitely work better on your stereo than what had come before....
Black Lips : Underneath the Rainbow
7.1 Vice
2014 

Black Lips : Underneath the Rainbow

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The Black Lips might be one of the biggest, or at least most important, bands in the party-garage movement of this century/millennium, but in addition to their wild live shows (QRO live review) that’s also included middling-at-best records, which give you the garage-rock you’ve already heard before a million other places.  That hit its nadir with 2011’s Arabia Mountain (QRO review), an album with barely a highlight.  Yet for latest Underneath the Rainbow, while Black Lips don’t scale heights, they swap the party-garage for country-ditties that definitely work better on your stereo than what had come before.

Starting with the up-down twang-trot of opener “Drive-By Buddy”, Underneath is focused not on sloppy lo-fi rock but catchy lo-fi country(-rock).  The backbeats are quite enjoyable, and if the Black Lips don’t add a lot more, well, it ain’t exactly broke.  The songs (which are not in anyway ‘new country’, FYI) do tend to run together, but in a nice way, like different scenery on a single horse ride.  There’s the dirty ditty “Funny”, the slow grit “Boys In the Wood”, and even a more skilled party-garage closer “Dog Years”.

No, Black Lips don’t reinvent the wheel on Underneath the Rainbow, but they do shift to making a better already-invented wheel.  What’s more, and what’s still most important, is that you know the songs will be incredibly fun live.

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