thu 06/08/2020

CD: Black Lips - Underneath the Rainbow | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Black Lips - Underneath the Rainbow

CD: Black Lips - Underneath the Rainbow

Lo-fi garage rock to soundtrack a slacker spring

Underneath the Rainbow

Three years after the release of the Mark Ronson-produced Arabia Mountain, Black Lips are back in the ring with Underneath the Rainbow, a decidedly rawer take on their lo-fi, yet melodic, garage rock. This time, Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, has taken on co-production duties, so it will be no surprise to learn that there is more than a touch of bluesy rock to flavour the musical gumbo.

Opening track, “Drive-by Buddy”, sounds like the Cold War Kids channelling the Monkees and sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Dorner Party” speeds things up to amphetamine levels with a buzz-saw riff, played at break-neck speed and the rockabilly excitement of “I don’t wanna go home” is bound to have many going nuts when the band start playing this stuff out on the road. The best tunes on this disc, however, are the Gun Club sounding “Boys in the Wood” and “Do the Vibrate”. This is where the blues influence that Patrick Carney brings to the party makes itself most apparent - with an intoxicating primal roar.

While it’s good to hear a bit of raw and unsophisticated rock and roll as often as possible, it has to be said that the perpetual adolescent schtick of Black Lips can get a bit wearing. This is particularly evident in final tune, “Dog Year”. Here, the band rails against parents and teachers and other minor authority figures. Given that all the members of the band must be in their mid-thirties, this all feels a bit bogus and it would be nice for them to expand their subject matter to things that are actually relevant to them. Nevertheless, this is a solid album that is sure to soundtrack the spring for many a born-again slacker.

A decidedly rawer take on their lo-fi, yet melodic, garage rock

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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