Classic CD Reviews: BLACK LIPS

LP Name:
Black Lips!
Release: 2003
Label: Bomp!

1. “Throw It Away” – A+
2. “Freakout” – A+
3. “Ain’t No Deal” – A
4. “Stone Cold” – B
5. “I’ve Got a Knife” – B+
6. “Down and Out” – B+
7.  “Steps” – B-
8. “Fad” – A+
9. “Sweet Kin” – B+
10. “Crazy Girl” – A
11. “Everybody Loves A Cocksucker” – A
12. “Cant Get Me Down” – B-
13. “You’re Dumb” – A-

Fun Facts:
– Recorded 100% in Georgia from 2000 to 2002!
– Cover art by Bradford Cox
– Guitar/noise specialist Ben Ederbaugh died before this was released.

Comments: This is truly a special record that will be forever admired by Black Lips purists. During the band’s beginning years, they relied almost exclusively on a lo fi-punk sound heavily influenced by early garage and country rock outfits. In many ways, Black Lips were much different in the old days. Their music was more cut-to-the-chase like-it-or-you-don’t. Their last two records (’07 and ’09) were put out by Vice, a much larger/notorious corporation than say In the Red or Bomp!. Arguably, their sound has become increasingly fine-tuned and more ready for the masses than ever before. Getting back to this record, more than few songs aren’t garage poppers. You might think “damn, this is draggy OR when does this get good?’ Black Lips don’t care what you think, though. They just shat tracks out of their musical ass (seemingly) and put them on this record. Whatever the excretion system did to them worked, with very few exceptions.

Grade: A- (90)


LP Title:
We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow
Release: 2004
Label: Bomp!

1. “MIA” – A+
2. “Time of the Scab” – A+
3. “Dawn of the Age of Tomorrow” – B+
4. “Nothing At All” – A+
5. “100 New Fears” – A-
6. “Stranger” – A+
7. “Juvenile” – A+
8. “Notown Blues” – A+
9. “Ghetto Cross” – A+
10. “Jumpin Around” – B
11. “Super X-13” – B+
12. “Hope Jazz” – B+

Comments: Great to watch a band  grow, isn’t it? This time around Black Lips were actually able to accomplish more in terms of  catchy songwriting while maintaining that lo-fi fuzzy sound that got everybody going on their debut. Even something as completely out of left field (at the time) as the organ-infested “100 New Fears” ends up fitting in well and introduces us to the genius of Joe Bradley. “Stranger” is probably the most crazy yet instantly fun-loving track on here. “Juvenile” continues that vibe. What I really love a great deal about this album, too, is how well the guitar and lead guitars complement each other. For songs like “Jumpin” and “Super,” I wish they were cleaned up only a teeny weeny bit. They have (had?) so much potential.

Grade: A- (93)


LP Title: Let It Bloom
Release: 2005
Label: In The Red Records

1. “Sea of Blasphemy” – A
2. “Can’t Dance” – A+
3. “Boomerang” – A+
4. “Hippie Hippie Hoorah” – A+
5. “Not A Problem” – A+
6. “Gung Ho” – B+
7. “Everybody Doing It” – A
8. “Feeling Gay” – B
9. “Boone” – A
10. “Gentle Violence” – A
11. “She’s Gone” – A-
12. “Fairy Stories” – A+
13. “Dirty Hands” – A+
14. “Workin” – B+
15. “Punk Slime” – A
16. “Empassant” – A-

Comments: It’s fun to listen to this record because it’s coated with tunes that are excessively lo-fi. Keep in mind how I said that some songs on We Did Not needed some cleaning up to reach their potential. Same deal here pretty much! In some cases, it’s more sad than others. Soon we find out that they do get purified albeit in a live setting two years later. The most pure song on here is  “Dirty Hands,” perhaps by a long-shot.

Grade: A- (93)


LP Title:
Good Bad Not Evil
Release: 2007
Label: Vice Records

1. “I Saw A Ghost (Lean)” – A+
2. “O Katrina!” – A+
3. “Veni Vidi Vici” – A
4. “It Feels Alright” – A+
5. “Navajo” – A+
6. “Lock and Key” – A+
7. “How Do You Tell” – A
8. “Bad Kids” – A+
9. “Step Right Up” – A
10. “Cold Hands” – A+
11. “Off The Block” – A+
12. “Slime and Oxygen” – B+
13. “Transcendental Light” – A

Comments:The first really really really really awesome through-and-through Black Lips LP.

Grade: A (95)


LP Title: Los Valienteles Del Mundo Nuevo
Release: 2007
Label: Vice Records

1. “M.I.A.” – A+
2. “Boomerang” – A+
3. “Sea of Blasphemy” – A+
4. “Stranger” – A+
5. “Not A Problem” – A+
6. “Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah” – A+
7. “Boone” – A+
8. “Everybody’s Doing It” – A+
9. “Fairy Stories” – A+
10. “Dirty Hands” – A+
11. “Buried Alive” – A+
12. “Juvenile” – A+

Comments: Yup, that’s right. This is my probably my favorite record of all-time. Flaws? Try pointing them out to me. Every song on here is amazing.

Grade: A+ (100)

3 thoughts on “Classic CD Reviews: BLACK LIPS

  1. mehzly beer

    gbne better than the first three albums??

    come on

    My vote

    Gbne 6,5/10 absolute boring production

    s/t – we did not know – 200 million 9/10

    los valientes 9,5 /10 you are right, a classic record

    let it bloom 10/10 atmosphere, production, drunken singalongs, everything in its right place

  2. Glen Maganzini

    Damn, I thought I was kind of being generous with Let It Bloom. Los Valienteles is uncontestedly better. Just look at “Not A Problem,” “Boomerang,” for example on LIB. Compare that to LV, it’s almost like BL didn’t put any effort into the LIB versions.

  3. Chris DeCarlo

    Yeah, Let It Bloom is my least favorite by far. Most of the tracks pale in comparison to their Los counterparts. With the exception of one or two of the Los tracks on LIB, I usually skip over them. And most of the other tracks are decent, but not classics like other albums, with that being said “Empassant” is one of their best recordings, hands down. I agree though that Good Bad has a weak 2nd half, but the first half is filled with classics and so I’d say it’s better than the first 3 albums too. Los is by far their greatest effort; in fact my 3rd favorite album of all time. I really can’t say anything bad about it either. The first two albums are solid, really classic as well. Also, how could I forget 200 Mill, I think that’s way better than Good Bad and the others. Here’s my vote:
    Los 10/10
    200 Mill 9.0/10
    Good Bad 8/10- slightly higher than the other two
    Black Lips- 8/10
    We Did Not- 8/10
    Let It Bloom- 7/10
    I would really recommend all though.

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