Music To Eat Lunch To – Black Lips – Good Bad Not Evil

Release date: September 11, 2007

Label: Vice Records

Tracks: 13 plus 1 bonus

Rating: 7

This band first came to my attention about two weeks ago when I was up late watching MuchMusic’s Punk Show. Some days the program is great and others It’s nothing more than a waste of time, but on this particular day the lineup was stellar.

Following videos by Rancid and Operation Ivy came a black-and-white number entitled ?Black Lips presents Cold Hands,? and the song was such a throwback to the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Dead Kennedys that I was stunned to see the release date listed as 2007.

The video was a little like the Offspring’s ?Gone Away,? but with grittier instrumentals and vocals that came off a little like Paul Simonon when he took on ?The Guns of Brixton? (The Clash, London Calling). I immediately imagined the band performing in a dark little punk club in California and added Good Bad Not Evil to the long list of CDs I needed to buy.

My surprise on listening to the record was that ?Cold Hands? is a slight anomaly when compared to the other 12 tracks. Admittedly, the band describes itself as ?psychedelic/comedy? on their MySpace page, but I was unaware of this until after listening to the remainder of Good Bad Not Evil. And at any rate, they say their music sounds like ?punks? so what is a person to expect?

This is not to say I’ve been disappointed. The four-piece Atlanta band has actually mixed up a bit of grunge, blues, and a little horror-punk (think The Misfits) into their music to come off like punks on some wonderful blend of beer and small hits of ecstasy.

?Lock and Key? sounds a bit like The Doors, ?O Katrina!? a bit like The Strokes, and ?Transcendental Light? even brings in a little bit of Bruce Springsteen. The bonus track at the end is nothing short of spooky, confirming the self-applied label of ?psychedelic.?

Together, all the songs on the record do work together in creating a unique sound and even a unique sub-genre of many types of music. However, if you try to judge what the album will sound like based on any one song, you’ll be wrong.

The star tracks on the record are ?Cold Hands? and ?Veni Vidi Vici? but that being said I wouldn’t carelessly dispose of the other 11 songs. My recommendation of this record is fairly wide in range, but I think that fans of The Strokes and The Clash will have a particular affinity for the Black Lips. Make some room in your CD case.

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