When I lived in LA back in '91, there was a band called Life Sex Death (Get it? LSD. Clever, clever, clever!) who were supposed to save the quickly dying hair metal scene. The crazy quirk with LSD was the fact that their singer didn't have long, pretty hair! The dude was some filthy guy who was rumored to be homeless. It didn't matter that the band sucked: Seattle was turning heads with all their homeless-looking bands, so LSD was LA's ticket to the future.
I'm certain that Black Lips sound nothing like LSD, but the first couple songs on Good Bad Not Evil sound like my memory of LSD's extremely stupid (but memorable) song, "Jawohl Asshole." Kinda energetic, kinda dirty, kinda funny, kinda catchy, yet ultimately not worth thinking about more than once every couple of decades.
If Good Bad Not Evil had come out in 1965, it probably would've been mind-blowing. Then again, The Who and The Beatles and The Stones were already blowing people's minds, and Black Lips can't compare to those groups. This is psychedelic garage rock filtered through everything that's happened since the Velvet Underground. To its credit, it's much more raw than most of the garage revivalists of the '00s.
I can't imagine not liking this record if you're into garage or psych. For those of us who aren't, though, there's nothing here worth hearing.
With all the cut-out eyeballs and ironic moustaches and clever nicknames, it's obvious that Black Lips have a sense of humor. The little comments before the lyrics of each song are kind of charming, but I don't understand the point of including only part of each songs' words. The package is entertaining the first time you look at it, but there's not much need to look at it more than once.
Listen if you like: Mudhoney, Thee Headcoats, The Rolling Stones. Ween fans might dig the humor, even though the two bands sound nothing alike.
If it were food, it'd be: a cheap pizza from a take-out joint in a small college town that's filled with pretentious liberal arts students who think they're the most witty and insightful people to ever walk the face of the Earth.