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Black Lips: 200 Million Thousand



Black Lips

Album: 200 Million Thousand
Label: Vice

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Five full-lengths in, it’s probably time to set aside the fact that the Black Lips act like knuckleheads. They just do. But none of their image-carving stage antics—kissing, peeing, general mania—have ever really eclipsed or been forced to compensate for flimsy tunes, and 200 Million Thousand showcases some of their most satisfying yet. Coated in a thick film of dirt and swill, it’s also a record that boomerangs a bit sonically from the fresh, hi-beamed tones of 2007’s Good Bad Not Evil. That decision not only makes sense in augmenting their knack for re-imagining vintage garage ruckus, but it also provides the perfect pigpen in which experiments and creative tomfoolery (see the stoner rap “The Drop I Hold”) sound totally at home. Which isn’t to say that the songwriting suffers at all. On the contrary, the lead single “Short Fuse” is an impossibly catchy nugget of ’60s pop with hooks to spare, and “Starting Over” is easily one of the most cutting melodies and numbers they’ve penned. And while the grime on “Let It Grow” and the country licks of “Trapped In a Basement” border on excessive, they fit. On this album, Black Lips sound just as they are: filthy. It’s an entirely honest statement.