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Underneath The Rainbow (Vice)
It can be confusing underneath the rainbow, as evidenced by Black Lips’ scattershot Southern-influenced seventh album.
At first, the Atlanta garage rock quartet seem to pick up where they left off after collaborating with mega-producer Mark Ronson on 2011’s Arabia Mountain. Drive By Buddy, Smiling and Make You Mine are a trio of driving songs full of boyish snottiness, harmonies and handclaps.
But just when it starts to feel like the album is continuing in a high-powered vein, the Lips start sounding like they’re steering a chuckwagon. Working with co-producers Tommy Brenneck of the Dap-Kings and Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, the band lasso their messy energy and sneering phrasing with twangy riffs and galloping rhythms. Throw in the swampy blues ballad Boys In The Wood and the 60s garage rock novelty Do The Vibrate and it becomes even more random.
Top track: Make You Mine
Black Lips play the Phoenix April 22.