Your lips taste like Tecate and sweat

They can be winsome and frolic-y, too

They can be winsome and frolic-y, too

Let me reiterate, in case you haven’t noticed or happened to stumble onto this blog because you’re bored at work or experience short-term memory loss: I pay a lot of attention to the star students on this blog. Few musicians possess the whole package, but so long as they have a commanding set of pipes, technical expertise with their instruments, gifts for song-writing and lyricism, production team made up of technical wizards, or a combo of those blessings, chances are I will listen to and like their work. I thrived on the praise of teachers when I was much younger. Yes, I was one of those.

But once in a while, I don’t want my aural product to be polished. I want the sonic quality to sound like someone stuck a wad of gum in my speakers. I want the vocals to be shouty. I want the guitars and drums to resemble the noises a baby makes when she’s chilling underneath a mobile, pawing at the rattles and cooing at the colors and clapping her hands and howling in dismay when the mobile is removed. Sometimes, I just want music to be messy.

Bands like the Black Lips oblige. The Atlanta group boasts infamous live shows that often result in the band being booted out of the venue that booked them. Occasionally, they sound like they would spit on the face (in the most congenial way one can spit on another’s face) of anyone who got in their way of fudged noise and trash can vocals. Bands like the Vivian Girls dare you to question how long they’ve been playing the guitar and then throw in a surprise doo-wop harmony during the chorus just to make you scratch your head. But the Black Lips would consider that bait-and-switch technique to hold too much, you know, technique. The result reminds me of the early recordings of The Who, when they sounded more “My Generation” and less “Baby O’Riley.” I’m sure the band reserves special group urinations for such comparisons to the classic rock canon.

  • Black Lips ~ 200 Million Thousand ~ Vice

Take My Heart


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