Black Lips - Underneath The Rainbow

Not so much shifting the formula as refining it.

Label: VICE


With their 2011 album ‘Arabia Mountain’, Black Lips looked to be transferring their grubby mitts of a take on garage rock to chart territory. Recruiting Mark Ronson as producer was one thing, simplifying their balls to the wall rock’n’roll another altogether. It worked in one sense - it was a great record, simple as that - but it didn’t win them a flock of new fans as expected. ‘Underneath the Rainbow’ ups this routine. It doesn’t doggedly prize chartworthy melodies out of their dirty fingernail’ed clutches, but it’s an overall clean-sounding (by their standards) return. Saying that, ‘Smiling’ keeps the band’s brattish charms in check, and ‘Do the Vibrate’ is an all-out disgusting reminder of just how gross these guys get. Seven albums in, they’re not so much shifting the formula as refining it and waiting for cult stardom to creep up on the scene.