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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Apr 11th, 2014

The Black Lips: Underneath the Rainbow

black lipsThe Black Lips
Underneath the Rainbow
(Vice Music)

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Underneath the Rainbow has much in common with all of The Black Lips’ other albums. It starts with a grabby opener, followed by a catchy single-contender sung by Jared Swilley. The rest of the album explores the many facets of garage rock. All of this, of course, is a good thing if you’re a fan of The Black Lips. They somehow manage to keep putting out similar, consistent albums, yet each has it’s own feel and all of them are good. This is how you build a fan base; keep giving people what they want while still keeping them interested.

Much like their last album, Arabia Mountain, the fidelity and complexity of production has increased. Instruments other than guitars and basses and the occasional theremin have found their way onto the tracks and those guitars don’t always sound like they’re buzzing out of a tiny, busted-up speaker. The increased clarity also makes it easier to hear the lyrics, which are still obsessed with bodily fluids.

Highlights include the glam rocker, “Dandelion Dust,” and “Do the Vibrate,” which sounds like it found it’s way here by way of some Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Perhaps best of all is “Boys in the Wood.” There’s a spaciousness in production here that I don’t think I’ve ever heard on another Black Lips song. Every instrument comes through so you can hear the interplay between them. While its only three minutes and thirty eight seconds, it feels epic, burning slowly while still cutting to the chase. When the chorus of backing vocals comes in, it feels positively huge.

Underneath the Rainbow may not be quite as good as Arabia Mountain, but it’s still a darn good addition to The Black Lips catalog.

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The Black Lips: Underneath the Rainbow