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Black Lips

(Vice)

The amazing thing about nearly every Black Lips recording is the almost defiant way the band refuses to play the same kind of song consecutively. Utilizing an almost haphazard method of sequencing and pacing, Black Lips albums are like no-fi demos made by a dozen different bands for a themeless mix tape. The Atlanta quartet's new album, 200 Million Thousand, follows faithfully in this schizophrenic tradition. While the band has called their sound "flower punk," that phrase may be a loose translation meaning "the history of anarchic music filtered through whatever we feel right now." 200 Million Thousand opens with the tribal thump of "Take My Heart," sounding like the bastard crawlspace-hidden children of the Stooges who learned their sound through the floorboards and damp osmosis. It's immediately followed by the almost spritely "Drugs," a surf-tinged cage match between Camper Van Beethoven and the Replacements, which itself is left behind by "Starting Over," a Byrdsian janglefest that suggests Paul Westerberg channeling the La's. Like Reese's experiment with peanut butter and chocolate, the Black Lips emerge from their garage studio lab after mutating the co-existence of dissonance and melody, pop and punk, reeling improvisation and calculated deliberation. 200 Million Thousand is their lurching, flower-picking, child-mauling creation. — Brian Baker

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