Black Lips 

Good Bad Not Evil (Vice)

Good Bad Not Evil strips away so much of the lo-fi fuzz and murk that caked Black Lips’ previous albums that it has to be called their sellout record (it’s also their first album of new material for major-label-affiliated Vice Records). Thankfully, though, it also finds these garage stalwarts’ most important qualities — the rhythm section’s ADD bounce, the biting guitar lines, the drunken sing-along enthusiasm, the perverse humor — as much in evidence as ever. Standout ‘Cold Hands’ has more momentum than a freight train, and ‘O Katrina!’ boasts a rolling bassline as irresistible as the mighty Mississippi. In between lean, tough rockers like ‘It Feels Alright’ and ‘I Saw A Ghost’, the band finds time for a hilarious/tragic country weeper, ‘How Do You Tell a Child That Someone Has Died,’ and signature psychedelic workouts like ‘Step Right Up’. Best of all, though, might be ‘Bad Kids’, a bouncy celebration of juvenile delinquency that will hopefully inspire a whole new generation of petty vandals. Black Lips may be hitting the big time, but only so they can trash the place.

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