Black Lips, 'Arabia Mountain' (Vice)

7
Arabia Mountain
Critical Mass
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Label: Vice

by Stacey Anderson

Sure, they're howling about molested superheroes and E. coli-ridden steak, not the rain in Spain, but Atlanta's Black Lips under-go something of a My Fair Lady sprucing-up on their sixth album. In the hands of dapper producer Mark Ronson, the glibly sloppy, lo-fi brats are almost sculpted into garage-punk sophistication, adding extended psychedelic guitar lines, fleshed-out percussion, even retro-soul sax. Frayed-nerve vocalists Jared Swilley and Cole Alexander show new composure, and without the extra layers of dirt, the band's songwriting skills are plain as day.

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