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Reviews and Suggestions

CD REVIEW: Black Lips “Arabia Mountain”

They call themselves “flower punk” and that’s probably the best description anyone can come up with when referring to Black Lips. Formed in 1999 in Atlanta, the Lips are part of the garage rock revival movement that ushered in the 21st century. Along with groups like The Flaming Sideburns, The Hives, The Strokes, King Khan and the Shrines, The White Stripes, and Jay Reatard, to name a few, Black Lips have been imperative in helping produce the new old styles and sounds of garage punk.

Unlike their previous albums, even up to their 2009 release 200 Million Thousand, Arabia Mountain is a lot tighter in sound. This is probably due in part to Mark Ronson, who holds producing credits on the album. Arabia Mountain manages to keep the core throwback sound of the Lips, even though the record is much more cleaned up. Ronson was careful not to lose the idiosyncrasies of Black Lips in the production, and the result is an enjoyable record that still has the true Lips style stamped all over it.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Dig “Electric Toys”

The boys from The Dig could not have picked a better cover for their debut album; the perfect image of a delicious chocolate cupcake. When I asked Emile Mosseri, who plays the bass and does the vocals, what two words would best describe his band, he responded with: “Catfish Blast.” Although he did not go into why those two words, I would like to believe that The Dig are certainly catfish, in the sense that they will also grow in their “commercial importance,” and the word “blast” can definitely describe their debut album, Electric Toys.

Since the release of the album in June, the band have been getting pretty good reviews thanks to their sounds, ethos and passion for music, which quickly drew comparisons to another big name in New York; The Strokes.  When I asked Emile what he thought of the association he happily replied: “The Strokes are a great band; in fact we used to rehearse next door to them for a year.” That perhaps explains how the familiar sound might not be just a coincidence. In addition to being produced by Bryce Goggin (also the producer of Pavement’s 1994 indie classic, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain), The Dig have incorporated their eclectic influences into the style and melody of their music. Influences ranging from the sounds of old rock and old, to Neil Young, The White Charger and, of course, The Beatles.