Ass, Grass, Laughing Gas

Atlanta garage hicks get their freak-folk mustaches on

Chicks dig their brains.
photo: Danny Hole
Chicks dig their brains.


Black Lips
Let It Bloom
In The Red
Stream "Sea of Blasphemy"
Stream "Can't Dance" (Windows Media Player)
Their domain is the garage, bitch—not some enchanted forest. They're fucked-up, Atlanta-bred, corn-fed Pucks, bedraggled in flannel. And yeah, the Black Lips are still green, but so fucking ready to wrangle some nymph slut pussy and hex derelict ears with beer, new-grown 'staches, and ('cause chicks dig brains) the hemlock of naive genius. After mewling and puking their way through reckless, foul-mouthed noize (the debut album) and soul-tinged Christ-metaphor fascination (the deux), on Let It Bloom Black Lips embrace a nascent haute brew of sunburnt, psychedelic freak folk. Yet the bed-wetters' signature sound—an alt-punk, drugged-up creature-folk choir choking on laughing gas; pealing swells of preternatural Malkmusian caterwauls that maul and skewer tender meat-cut bastions of magic 'shroom tunes—has certainly sustained. "Sea of Blasphemy" is like Velvets' "European Son" at the Bayou, a Carnival cruise ship bobbing in country-fried bedlam and broken glass. "Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah" 's a klezmatic snake charm, coaxing brown-water rivulets out of a quixotic cauldron. "Dirty Hands" stirs homoeroticism into the summertime nostalgia pot and leaves Annette crying alone; it's a lost beach-movie folio where Frankie and Fabian get baked, drop trou, and make out. But crudity's par for the course when acid's your dinner.

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