There was no garage rock revival.The Strokes made a great first album, but the only garage those kids have ever seen houses six cars or more. The White Stripes had and continue to have a brilliant career but they’re not exactly beer-swilling teenagers cranking out Stooges riffs in the basement. The Hives? Well, they’re Swedish and thus discounted because their garages are made from Ikea. And I think we all can agree to never speak of The Vines, Von Bondies and Jet ever again.

Consequently, you don’t hear about garage rock anymore. Like dance-punk after it, it turned out to be less of a movement than a few good bands that came about about at the same time and shared a lo-fi, crude and powerful sound. Truth be told, though they’d never admit it, it’s the oldest trick in the music crit book, slap on a “movement” tag on a couple bands, get the hype machine rolling and pray for that sales uptick. (And if you don’t believe me, check back here in a few years when “Nu-Rave” is even more of punchline than it already is).

So if The Black Lips had made Good Evil Not Bad Evil six years ago, I’m sure every critic would’ve shouted from the rooftops that you needed to hear it. It’s raw agressive and steeped in a primal psychadelia, a flat-out dirty record (in the good, Motley Crue kind of way, and not the bad, Christina Aguilera way). In the vein of the 13th Floor Elevators and the Nuggets comp, Good Evil is a weird and wild ride. It’s also one the best rock records of year. So if you’re getting burnt out on sad “indie” caterwauling and want something that sounds it should be chased with a shot of Cuervo, these guys get my vote of confidence.

MP3: Black Lips-“Cold Hands”
MP3: Black Lips-“Not a Problem” (live from Tijuana)

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