Black Lips! CD review [Bomp]

Music Reviews
Black Lips! CD review [Bomp]
May 18, 2004, 17:46

BLACK LIPS! We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow CD

Atlanta's Black Lips! play basic garage-rock with considerable abandon, sacrificing elements like technical expertise or playing in tune without the least trepidation. An' it sounds great! G-rock is a sound foundation anyway usually built outta catchy chord progressions, propulsive beats and is repetitious enough to mesmerize but brief enough to avoid tedium. This was some of the 60s' finest music.

Various extrapolations subsequently emerged from there, each focusing on and amplifying particular aspects of the mother-genre resulting in psychedelia, heavy metal and eventually punk rock with the latter coming closest to recapturing g-rock's defining virtues. That was some of the 70s' finest music.

In the 21st century the Black Lips! found a way to restate those virtues without going the stodgy, revivalist route. They utilize ALL the formalistic elements of the original and have developed their own unique wrinkle from another intrinsic element of their source inspiration: the ecstatic emotional rush the music inspires. So they attack these songs and their performance in an utter frenzy, accuracy and lucidity be damned. And that's what you experience first and foremost. There's a serendipitous secondary affect to this: the awesome fury of their playing tends to distort and transform the basic raw materials at hand into something fresh and fierce and are often times phantasmagorical. To the initiated listener this wild, out of tune playing sounds not only right but also righteous. For those not convinced by The Hives' crisp simulacrum, this is the shit you are looking for. [Bomp]

-Howard Wuelfing

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