Local Wire

Black Lips

While other kids in the dawn of their 20s wax artistic, Atlanta's Black Lips are stalwart in their scuzzy retro glory. Let It Bloom, their third album as the favorite little brothers of Sonics freaks everywhere, may sound like it was recorded on tin in 1968 -- with wisps of organ and snatches of piano swirling around the guttural guitars -- but there's a ball of raving energy just under the treble. "Can't Dance" is a thunderous, New York Dollsy kiss-off, while "Dirty Hands" sounds like the early Beatles, soused. There's no contemporary reference in sight; even the R&B-ish "Feeling Gay" is meant in the "don we now our gay apparel" sense. But sometimes alcohol needs a perfect musical complement, and even if the Black Lips never record an album in full color, rock 'n' roll doesn't get much gayer.
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Andrew Marcus