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Black Lips’ ‘Underneath the Rainbow’ skimps on the scuzz

Album review: Black Lips’ ‘Underneath the Rainbow’

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Black Lips
Underneath the Rainbow
Vice

★★ (out of 5 stars)

Atlanta’s Black Lips is one of those bands who I never expect to let me down, and with album opener, “Drive-By Buddy,” they certainly do not. With guitars that totally rip the Monkees in the best way, I craved the song and obsessively played it, despite the rest of the album falling short of my admittedly high expectations. Coming off 2011’s excellent and addictive Arabia Mountain, three years is a long wait for blander pop songs that incite me to press skip, like “Waiting.” Although the alluringly shabby sound most fans so loved from initial releases perhaps indicated an immaturity, I am befuddled by this new direction and cross my fingers in the hope that Black Lips have only temporarily lost their voice and that passing puberty hasn’t permanently shifted it for good.

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