Black Lipstick Sincerely, Black Lipstick

[Peek-A-Boo; 2005]

Rating: 4/5

Styles:  rock
Others: Velvet Underground, The Strokes, Sonic Youth

In the herk-and-jerk, dance-rock revival, which has made names like Television and The Velvet Underground even more popular these past few years, Black Lipstick is taking the collective influence and doing something a little different. It's hard to ignore all the various nods, and in most cases, they are easy to spot; but where bands like The Strokes have managed to compress things into a tight, shiny little package, Black Lipstick has taken a more literal approach by pulling out blues-laden rock that is relaxed, overcast, and extremely welcome.

Black Lipstick makes music that is less organized than The Strokes, more reserved and natural. Where The Strokes come off as precise, Black Lipstick comes off as raucous. The jam down "Grandma Airplane" is the most comparable song between the two, but it turns into a seven and a half minute dirge with lax vocals, psychedelic lyrics, and a beautifully drawn out ending, which sounds more like Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth than The Strokes or even Black Lipstick.

With the addition of bassist Steve Garcia's vocals on three of the nine tracks, Phillip Niemeyer's miserably buoyant holler gets a well deserved break, while Garcia seems to fit the music a little more in the blues vein of things. Where Niemeyer adds a tension to the music with his vocals, Garcia brings things around to an even more ambivalent side of Black Lipstick.

It has taken Black Lipstick a few years to get where they are now. Following their previous release, Converted Thieves and The Four Kingdoms of Black Lipstick EP before that, Sincerely, Black Lipstick has plotted the band on a growing course. What we find in Sincerely, Black Lipstick is a band that has matured both lyrically as well as with their songwriting, growing past the kitsch of an early 2000 college radio highlight and into the venerated swagger of a band that has started to take themselves seriously.

1. Bob Fosse
2. No Mercy
3. Grandma Airplane
4. Throw Some Money At It
5. ...
6. Viva Max
7. Bad Catholic, The
8. Shallow
9. All Night Long Forever