Atlanta’s favorite garage rockers are back with “Underneath The Rainbow”, already the seventh Black Lips album. This one has the difficult task to follow up “Arabia Mountain”, a near flawless collection of garage rock ditties.
I seriously doubt whether these guys felt any pressure though… more likely they just went in the studio, plugged in their guitars and simply started cranking out some more tunes filled with jumpy rhythms, jangly guitars, catchy hooks and tons of sloppy harmonies. They used two producers this time around: The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney is responsible for seven of the songs on here, while the other five were recorded by Tom Brenneck (who also produced “Arabia Mountain”).
They ease into the album with “Drive-By Buddy”, “Smiling” and “Make You Mine”, the latter of which was written together with Mastodon’s Brent Hinds. These three songs are standard Black Lips fare. Nothing special but not bad at all. “Boys In The Wood” is something else though and really impresses with its Southern rock feel that is coupled to a horn section. The same goes for the whistling-enhanced “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” and “Dog Years”. If I had to pick one favorite however it would have to be “Waiting”, a catchy song that just keeps on getting better as it shifts closer towards the end. Or the slightly sinister “Do The Vibrate”. Yeah, there still are plenty of highlights to be found on here.
While “Underneath The Rainbow” is not the band’s best album, it still is a lot better than most other albums. Plus it shows that when the Black Lips step outside of their comfort zone on a song like “Boys In The Wood”, they can not only pull it off but still end up sounding like the Black Lips.