Black Lipstick

Sincerely (Peek-A-Boo Records)

This Austin foursome gets the shaft in some quarters for aping the Velvet Underground. Besides the delightfully amateurish pounding of drummer Elizabeth Nottingham, however, the Velvets tag doesn't really hold sway. Travis Higdon's vocals and guitar work are far more Tom Verlaine than Lou Reed, although switching one generation's CBGB institution for another might be mere quibbling. In any case, Sincerely is rowdy, out-of-tune fun. Black Lipstick may wear their influences on their sleeves, but there is power in the meandering grooves of "B.O.B. F.O.S.S.E." and "Grandma Airplane." Some of the lengthier tracks wear out their welcome, but it's always in celebration of the intrinsic value of what the Velvets represented: an honest vision not beholden to instrumental prowess or the clichéd commonality of pop's definition of acceptability.

 
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