penny reel review

Black Lips

Underneath the Rainbow

(Vice Records)

*****/5

The first album from Black Lips since 2011’s Arabia Mountain finds the boys from Atlanta bringing the snot and snarl that is now synonymous with their persona on Underneath the Rainbow. Co-produced by the likes of Patrick Carney (Black Keys) and long-time collaborator Ed Rawls, the album continues the group’s suit-and-tie trajectory of the garage rock sub-culture they helped spearhead. As polished a product as Underneath the Rainbow may be, the subtle genre spanning of the group’s influences latches its thorns into your skin, drawing only the slightest hints of blood. Opening with the hip shaking 70’s tune that may best identify itself in some biker exploitation film, ‘Drive By Buddy’ vaults the boys into a journey through deep-south grooves with ‘Boys in the Wood’ and arena rock pandering on ‘Dandelion Dust.’ With tracks like ‘Dorner Party’ that could easily fall into any of the group’s last few albums, new and old fans alike may feel that this album is a peace pipe where all parties involved can thank the gods that Black Lips have yet to falter once again. – M. R. Brown

The album is available March 18 on Vice Records. See Black Lips live at SXSW and the upcoming tour for the new album.