Black Lips are the kind of band that I love to hate, purely because the kind and amount of hype they receive. But props given where props due, this is a hell of an album.
I’ve been listening to it on the regular for damn-near a week now and during that time more than half the songs have been stuck in my head at some point. It’s the sort of summertime listenin’ that makes me feel like I’m 15 again.
It’s a deceptively dynamic record that flits effortlessly through a broad range of styles, channeling the best of a decades-long tradition of garage rock music.
The energy, the bombast, the sheer racket these guys create is very identifiably punk – the band themselves even refer to their sound as “flower punk” (whatever the fuck that is).
But the sophistication of the songwriting – the melodic content, the arrangements, the variety of different instruments – is not what one would associate with typical punk rock.
There are elements of ragged indie pop, reverb-drenched surf rock, delta blues, and good ole’ rock-in-roll all muddled together, and finished with a healthy dose of psychedelia.
The hooks, which all are alarmingly infectious, stray perilously close to doo-wop at times, but generally remain firmly in Ramones’ “whoa-oh” territory.
It’s a thoroughly satisfying listen, a deft mix of noise and poppiness, blistering feedback and sweet harmony.
Download this song here.