Vol. 2, Issue #19 October 12th - October 25th, 2007

CD Review: The Black Lips -- Good Bad Not Evil
By: Graham Lee Brewer

The Black Lips have built a reputation as the disgusting troubadours of gutter trash punk, a reputation they built on a foundation of shocking live shows that include vomit and piss, jangly and seemingly drunken garage rock and an extreme lack of respect for any type of established social constructs. This brash approach to music and, well, life in general has made their name synonymous with a certain image or brand that is hard to shake, but with their latest album, Good Bad Not Evil, the band prove they are much more than just grungy garage rockers.

Good Bad has a definite mixture of specific movements in rock: angular Proto-Punk, wispy classic country, ‘50s doo-wop and dirty early punk rock. If a band ever embodied the way that the early punk movement mirrored sultry clamor with gritty, rambunctious energy, it’s The Black Lips.

The most impressive aspect of Good Bad is how The Black Lips manage to bring their music down in volume and aggressiveness without losing any of its inherent vigor. Their previous albums thrived on shock value, which is what made them stand out like a crazed, ragged psychopath at a country club, but this album shows that they aren’t trying to ride that image forever. They want to evolve and venture into new territories, and on Good Bad they have done just that with losing a step.

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