Underneath the Rainbow

These Georgia garage guys are a dozen years into their recording career – a neat trick, given that their biggest role models are slop-bucket Sixties greaser-punk obscurities who tended to disappear after a regional 45 or two. By now the Lips have made peace with modern-day production techniques, but the 12 licketysplit songs on their seventh studio album still feel righteously ragged, if not downright drunk. They're pretty cheerful, too – even when cops in "Smiling" or teachers in "Waiting" make growing up difficult. As for the misunderstood hoods in the feral blues crawl "Boys in the Wood," those may well be Black Lips themselves.

From The Archives Issue 1205: March 27, 2014