200 Million Thousand CD - Vice

As The Black Lips continue to ham it up with antics such as their recent banishment from India, it's seemingly inevitable that their music will take a back seat to their rabblerousing myth making. One of today's most essential live acts, the band's ardent followers are seemingly content with the fact that their records will never be able to capture the intense glee of their beer-soaked reputation. Instead, each album's release merely serves as an excuse to kick up a racket on tour.

But with the breakthrough of 2007's Good Bad Not Evil, The Black Lips inched closer to creating something equally as inspired as their live show: a distinct sounding contemporary garage rock. It seemed that underneath all of the fuzz and bluesy chord progressions there lay a unique voice, and the band broke free of their revivalist shackles and the compartmentalization of Nuggets fetishists.

So, then, it should come as no surprise (but still a disappointment) that a band so hell bent on nihilism would retreat from the thin sheen of its predecessor to something like 200 Million Thousand, an album that taunts its expanded fanbase with the harmonies of "Drugs" while otherwise stuffing the album with lo-fi provocations. For every bright spot that shines ("Short Fuse") there are sludgy missteps, such as "Trapped in a Basement" and "The Drop I Hold," that bog down the album, the band intent on wallowing in their morning after haze.

By Matt Siblo



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