The Atlanta boys sixth studio album, Arabia Mountain, has hints of raw Lips’ solace with a pleasurable gritty rock tightness and audacious guitar fuzz—it’s yummy. Working with DJ / producer Mark Ronson, the 16-track album presents a classic punk rock boldness while intermittently oozing an Americana ambiance – again, tasty.
Dropping June 7th on Vice (U.S.) and PHI Group (Canada), The Black Lips are that youthful band that teases with lax revolt (or utter ambivalence) and bedroom ear gum quirk. From lyrics about Peter Parker and Captain Crunch to a web of trip talks – the quartet seemingly produce a playful slop of retro inspired purity complete with loud garage sessions. If you were Hyde from That 70’s Show – this would be your soundtrack.
The catchiness of the tracks should not be undermined. The imagery and associations may not be revolutionary, but they are cool and prompt chuckles. The album arguably becomes more inventive as it goes on with tracks like ‘The Lie’, ‘Noc-A-Homa’ (about the Atlanta Braves mascot) and ‘Don’t Mess Up My Baby’ showing a washed rock medley that coyly touches the shoegaze department. And then there are tracks like ‘Time’ that immediately place you in your youth – perhaps sipping a cola from a glass bottle.
With a stage presence dubbed similar to that of The Ramones, The Black Lips teeter between the revolutionaries and the rock stars with ultimate neglect of social conformity. Kitty Empire from the Observer noted their on-stage chemistry, citing some of the outlandish behaviour Black Lips’ fans know all too well,
“…broken instruments, spitting into one another’s mouths, male-on-male snogging, nudity, penile guitar-playing and stage invasions.”
Their catalog of tuneage sways between summertime hoopla and a bromance that you can’t help but want to take part in. With each track running a mere two minute something or other – 16 tracks fly by as you somehow get lost in a soundtrack that is no less boring than watching Lady Gaga take on Mike Tyson –hey it could happen.
Think of the album like nutty putty – you just want to roll it up and lob it at someone and then giggle while watching them react.
Top Tracks: The Lie, Noc-A-Homa, Bone Marrow
Arabia Mountain is out in stores June 7th.
Stream the album, courtesy of Grooveshark here.
Arabia Mountain Rating – A