I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that “Drive-By Buddy,” the first song on Underneath the Rainbow, the new album by The Black Lips, has a hint of country twang. After all, the Lips, garage-punks or “flower-punks” (their own label) that they are, covered Willie & Waylon’s “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” a few years ago.
No, this isn’t a country or “alt-country” album, by any means. In fact, on closer listen, the guitar riff of “Drive-By Buddy” sounds a lot like George Harrison playing “Honey Don’t” or other Carl Perkins songs in those early Beatles years. (I read another review that compared it with the guitar riff of The Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville.” That works, too.) But the Southern roots of the Georgia-based Lips are much more apparent here than on previous efforts. When they sing “we’re hanging on a broken T-Bird hood” in the refrain, it sounds like good redneck fun — probably more than it would be in real life.
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