Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Lips 200 Million Thousand

Atlanta's purveyors of disarrayed garage rock are back and better than ever. Despite being banned in countries around the world for their antics and leaving a path of wanton destruction everywhere they go, the Black Lips somehow found some time amongst the pandemonium to record their follow up to Good Bad, Not Evil. Entitled, 200 Million Thousand the album is chronicle of rock and roll chaos that only the Black Lips could create.

Recorded in what sounds like a one car garage with holes in the roof, 200 Million Thousand is a rough, raw, and unpolished record. Produced with would could be the finest 1/4 inch tape made by Memorex, it's truly a marvel of modern science that the record ever saw the light of day. But, here it is, 200 Million Thousand in all it's beaten up garage punk rock glory and if you're not careful it will beat the living heck out of you.

Coming across as something like a 60's beat group waiting for the man with the Velvet Underground, Black Lips make hazy, dirty, untamed rock and roll that will more than likely melt your stereo, blow out your speakers, and cause your ears to run away in terror. If that wasn't enough, several songs on 200 Million Thousand sound like the band was a victim of their own creation. "Let It Grow," for example, sounds like a drunken stupor recorded in Oscar the Grouch's garbage can; it's an absolutely mind-numbingly raw song of destruction and it's quite bad. The whole album is another story.

The band, essentially, picks up where they left off on Good Bad, Not Evil and salvages several really good rough and tumble songs out of the low points of 200 Million Thousand. "Drugs, " and "Short Fuse," are perfect examples of this and illustrate how great of a rock and roll band Black Lips are capable of being when they uncork that punk rock rebellion and garage rock swagger. Thankfully, roughly 2/3 of this record is like that, which in hind sight, saves 200 Million Thousand from being just pure angsty punk rock noise.

At five albums into their career, Black Lips are slowly maturing into a crazy uncontrollable rock and roll band that's not only known for wreaking havoc but also for their songs. 200 Million Thousand is a great record that has a few hiccups here and there, but when you spend $50 recording an album that's bound to happen. If you like rock and roll that sounds like it was beat up in a dark alley then the Black Lips and their album 200 Million Thousand will bring you many, many hours of joy.

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