Review: Black Lips – Underneath the Rainbow
Published on March 24th, 2014 | Jonny Abrams
Black Lips are an uncomplicated bunch, at least musically – their seventh album Underneath the Rainbow is made up for the most part of the kind of wares they’re so adept at peddling, but it’s nowhere near as mediocre as that makes them sound.
Au contraire, its twisted garage-rock/stoner-fuzz-pop/whateveryouwannacallit is a total blast, full of gleeful hooks, deranged lyrics, rolling drum fills, off-kilter harmonies and not a single track any longer than three minutes and thirty-eight seconds.
Front man Jared Swiley summons so much joyous enthusiasm with his bratty, Beulah-meets-Modest-Mouse sort of sneer, the brashness of his delivery qualifying and pardoning the lyrical likes of “Marauding little lady / Come suck some milk from her titties” (“Funny”) and “When I come, I always whistle” (“Dog Years”).
The ensuing “Dorner Party” makes a bold play for standout status with its soaring surf-punk chorus and ‘evil rockabilly’ guitar wig-out, before respectfully making way for the domineering dirt-blues swing of “Boys in the Wood”, which brings to mind flashes of Spiritualized and Primal Scream.
If each of those numbers hit the bull’s eye, they must have had to squeeze up in order to make room for the schoolyard swagger of “Waiting” and the whistlin’ stomp of “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”. It’s a succession of uncomplicated treats, but it’s too enjoyable to patronise.
For all your summertime mischief-making soundtracking needs, look Underneath the Rainbow.
Underneath the Rainbow is out now.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!