In today's age of pre-release album streams and unrelenting leaks, music reviewers are cornered by the struggle to defensively convince readers what an album isn't
before describing what it actually is
. Anything and everything confounding or revolutionary about a new record has already been tweeted about and Snapchatted over, and it's become our job to correct the preconceived notions that are being made. That's why it was such a pleasure to listen to Black Lips' latest LP Underneath the Rainbow
— an album whose archaic qualities are its most admirable, and one that offers an easy listening ride that's never clouded by careless critical thinking about its progression.
Albums released by the Atlanta-based quartet always promise experiences that trigger mental references to Keith Richards' Americana-dusted blues riffs and 60s British rock rhythm, and Underneath the Rainbow
keeps this trend kicking. And why the fuck wouldn't they keep it alive? They're great at it. Their basement-punk re-interpretations of our fathers' favorite licks never cease to impress by bridging this ongoing generational gap between youthful apathy and adult nostalgia. I jotted down band names that I heard while listening — Stones, Kinks, Bowie, The Clash, Ramones, B-52s — but the base ingredient of the completed dish remained Black Lips.
Throughout the past 11 years, the group has branded itself with an unmatched attitude, one that when combined with the sounds of the past make for an entirely unique package. Where the Rolling Stones used unstartling, radio-friendly lyrical symbols for their questionable themes like "Brown Sugar", Black Lips wear no such veils when screaming "Suck some milk from my titties!" at the tops of their lungs (in "Funny"). This age of apathy in rock seems to be a growing phenomenon. Where punk was once a medium for political and social protest, more young musicians are instead deciding to escape through their music by getting fucked up, and living to tell the tale about it to a rowdy rhythm. And Black Lips paved this unsympathetic path back when bands like FIDLAR and The Orwells were still suckin' titties for sustenance.
Underneath the Rainbow
is out now. Get your copy here