Arabia MountainAlbum |
Mark Ronson heads to the Dirty South.
For roughly ten years, Atlanta punks Black Lips have been gaining more notoriety for their onstage debauchery (open flames, fornication, etc.), than their skuzzy brand of '60s influenced garage-punk. After a brief recording session with Deerhunter's Lockett Pundt, the band decided to enlist celebrity DJ and Amy Winehouse cohort Mark Ronson to produce their sixth long player, Arabia Mountain. Fortunately, Ronson has done little to tamper with the Lips' rough ‘n tumble sound. The most he's done is clean up the production a smidge and add a few extra touches like the greasy R&B sax on "Mad Dog." As an unexpected bonus, Jared Swilley and company embark on some unexpected lyrical journeys; "Modern Art" recounts a drug-ridden excursion to a Salvador Dali exhibition, "Spidey's Curse" explores Peter Parker's inner demons, and "Noc-A-Homa" portrays the Atlanta Braves' old timey, politically incorrect Native American mascot. Though the quartet borrows from surf rock and old school R&B, a stylistic tour de force this is not; in fact, those who know the band exclusively from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack's "Bad Kids" pretty much have the book on these ruffians, who've been banned from numerous clubs and, allegedly, the entire country of India. If the Strokes and Hives revived garage rock, the Black Lips took it on a weeklong bender, urinated off its roof, and trashed its apartment.