Black Lips – Arabia Mountain

January 01, 1970



Flat out: Arabia Mountain makes a girl want to dance. Hard. Inside a dark, grimy, piss-and-sweat-drenched
club, in a poodle skirt, saddle shoes, and a black leather bustier.  I want to see the band get naked. I want to
see them set fire to guitars. I want them to make my jaw drop with their
infamous on-stage antics, all while keeping time with intermittent handclaps.


The Black Lips’
6th studio release maintains the lo-fi rawness of previous albums;
however, with the help of pop-producing, Brit-rock mastermind Mark Ronson and
Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt,
these good-time bad-boys have added an unwavering, almost incessant,
retro-catchiness to their self-described “flower punk” sound.


Tracks like “Family Tree” and “Mad
Dog,” with their spooky soul-sax segments and playful doo-wop undertones, would
be perfectly suited at the Drapes’ delinquent sock hop in John Waters’ Cry Baby. “Go Out and Get It” sounds
like it could have been the product of the Partridge Family kids, had they
spent their allowance on whiskey and smokes instead of bell-bottoms and buses.
It’s both wholesome and husky at the same time. They even manage to
successfully saturate psychedelic surf-rock in both “Modern Art” and
“Bicentennial Man,” steering clear of the Animal Collective/MGMT
interpretations by subbing out layered harmonies for howling and snarling.


Despite claiming that they’ve matured
“a little bit” since their last release, the Lips’ nonsensical, impish lyrics
linger: from the child molestation of Spider Man in “Spidey’s Curse,” to “you smoked all my dope, chased a rainbow,
and then you sang a song” in
“Don’t Mess With My Baby,” you kind of get the feeling that deep down, the
Black Lips are just a bunch of 14 year-old boys living out their garage rock
fantasies. Only now they really know how to make a Theremin vibrate.


DOWNLOAD: “Family Tree,” “Raw Meat,” “Modern Art,” “Noc-A-Homa” PARRY ERNSBERGER



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