Ass, Grass, Laughing Gas


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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