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The Black Lips return with their 10th studio effort ‘Apocalypse Love’, scorched with their trademark menace, it cryogenically mutates all recognised musical bases; it spins yarns about vintage Soviet synths, Benzedrine stupors, coup de’ tats, stolen valor and certified destruction, all set against a black setting sun. Since the turn of the decade the band have transformed from austere country pioneers, into a set of Lynchian surrealists, hellbent on recalibrating the history of rock ‘n’ roll.
Singer and saxophonist Zumi Rosow muses, “It’s a weird dance record, one that reflects the moment that the world’s in right now…”
‘Apocalypse Love’ is an album that emanates from a dive bar jukebox in the back of your mind; with a playlist that bends between tub thumping doom-glam, Plastic Ono singalongs, cocktail-shaken space age pop, Morricone reverberations and lo-fi outsider acoustic-punk, with mariachi horns, theremins, drum machines and harmonies filtering through the infectious melodies.
Stand-out number ‘Among The Dunes’ is an amorphous platform-heeled anthem, a signature sax-fueled stomper filled with trippy swagger. While opener ‘No Rave’ proffers a hypnotic locked groove, with Cole Alexander’s trademark snarl delivered over a sulphurous wall of distorted hedonism, a dystopian anthem for an apocalyptic manifesto. Meanwhile, the twisted exotica of ‘Whips Of Holly’ with its silver screen façade is like the soundtrack to a classic Theda Bara vamp-fest.
As the band venture into their third decade, ‘Apocalypse Love’ is proof that The Black Lips show no sign of slowing down…