Listen to the first couple of cuts from the Black Lips' self-titled debut album and it sounds like you've uncovered yet another nuevo-garage rock band with an extra shot of punk rock attitude. All well and good, but let the album sink in and you realize these kids have a bit more up their sleeves -- the tres-wasted psychedelia of "Freakout," the creepy blues crawl of "Stone Cold" and "Down and Out," and the free-form dementia of "You're Dumb" prove these guys have been absorbing their influences from any number of less than wholesome sources. A bit like the Dwarves pre-Blood Guts & Pussy, the Black Lips are looking for something dirty, dangerous, and just plain unhealthy beneath the energetic veneer of garage punk, and on this album they don't have much trouble finding it. While the performances are often ragged to the point of near collapse, that seems to be the point much of the time, and the addled wail of singer Cole Alexander is a fine mouthpiece for this journey through the gutters of your mind. Savage and not for the squeamish, but cool stuff for folks who like their rhythm hooch in a dirty glass.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming