thu 09/04/2020

Album: Black Lips - Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Black Lips - Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart

Album: Black Lips - Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart

Atlanta garage rockers fully embrace their inner country and western souls

Black Lips: country style

Since first getting together at the fag end of the 20th century, Black Lips have largely played the role of garage rockers with a hint of country and western about them. The songs on their latest album, however, turns their schtick somewhat on its head.

Since first getting together at the fag end of the 20th century, Black Lips have largely played the role of garage rockers with a hint of country and western about them. The songs on their latest album, however, turns their schtick somewhat on its head. For Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart is the band’s most explicitly country album to date, albeit one that possesses more than a dash of garage rock swagger. This is all the more emphasised by an album cover that features the five-piece looking something like a 2020 update of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Any shift in their style, however, has done nothing to dim Black Lips’ tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, which is clear from the off. The country blues opener “Hooker Jon” particularly lays it on thick with a claim of “He thinks I’m a hooker / She thinks that I’m a john”, while the more laidback “Gentleman” includes the pearl of wisdom that “I found out the hard way that the pathway to her heart’s not through her nose”. “Angola Rodeo” similarly has more than enough to raise a smile but has plenty else about it too, including a wild Southern Fried groove which even has shades of James Luther Dickinson’s classic Dixie Fried sound from the early Seventies.

Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart is by no means an exercise in daffy nonsense though. “Chainsaw” echoes Gram Parsons-era Byrds with its twanging guitars and laidback pace, while “Odelia” raises the tempo with an energetic driving groove. “Dishonest Man” is probably the closest sounding tune to the Black Lips of old but even that has plenty of the country about it. In fact, Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley’s lurch into the land of Nudie Suits feels like the massive shot in the arm that Black Lips’ sound has needed for a while.

Any shift in their style has done nothing to dim Black Lips’ tongue-in-cheek sense of humour

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