Black Lips: Sing in a World That's Falling Apart (Fire/Southbound)

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Holding Me Holding You
Black Lips: Sing in a World That's Falling Apart (Fire/Southbound)
While no artist – as we have said previously – should be held to their press release, someone with a functioning frontal cortex in Black Lips' team might have called a halt to the absurd hype about this band's reductive pop . . . . a band which had apparently gone where “no garage punk band had done before”.

Uh-uh.

And – after having recored with Mark Ronson and Sean Lennon – Black Lips (a band out out of Atlanta, Georgia which formed almost 20 years ago) come back here with . . . .

Okay, let's just blow the whistle on such nonsense and accept that they have now moved into country music post-Byrds (Sweetheart is cited as a touchstone).

Breathlessly, we note they recorded this in a recently re-opened Valentine Studio in Laurel Canyon (Stan Kenton to Frank Zappa, big bands to Beach Boys)

But it's what you do in there, not what those artists did.

Right?

And what Black Lips do – and it isn't “country music but not as we know it” as their over-egging press release says – is make . . .

Well, a very low-level post-Byrds country-rock, some hoe-down folk-rock, a bit of faux-working class country-rock with pedal steel, their garageband take on the genre of country-rock and . . .

Every now and again they approach Keith Richards' dissolute take on country (Get It On Time) but then they follow it up with Angola Rodeo which sounds like a rejected Seventies-styled track from the soundtrack to Dazed and Confused.

By the way boys, burping in a song isn't funny or of much interest, even in that context.

There are moments here when they almost get the Southern boogie-pop thing down cold, as on Odelia which in the Allman's hands would have been a spiralling 15 minutes but here is an incomplete 2.22 which they can't see their way of.

And the condescending Live Fast Die Slow at the end is one of those fake live-barroom nonsense things.

Mostly this – maybe Chains aside – is very very ordinary.

Lots of four star reviews in the UK but the “nah” from here could not be bigger.

You may hear this album at Spotify here.

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