Real-Time Preview: Random Order: Black Lipstick Kiss

by thethreepennyguignol

Black Lipstick Kiss: The title track is pure Tarantino; with rolling guitar and rich, rasping vocals, it’s heavy with almost lecherous bass and saxaphone breakdowns. This album was allegedly written after days of binging horror movies in a hotel room during a hurricane, and you can hear that all over this sultry, drifting number.

Pink Cloud: Launching into their second track, there’s something of the dirty jazz feel to this one. It’s got a syncopated, ska-ish guitar and bass lick over the verses that wind up mangled with streaks of saxaphone and slippery drum runs. It’s packed with attitude, even though it brings things down a notch from the first track.

Living on a Deadline: Think country rock-and-roll meets mad-eyed psychadelia. Focused on the manic, punky vocal performance that’s a mixture of Debbie Harry and whiskey, things are all tied together with some irresistibly catchy brass background music. One of the standouts of the whole album.

Morning After the Kill: Moving this away from the sugar-coated punk of the last track, Morning After the Kill is a strange beast; a rich accompaniment is the focus here, with intricate, occasionally manic guitar lines making up most of the verse music and breathy, crunchy, off-beat percussion characterizing the chorus. This is killing spree, Bonnie-and-Clyde kind of music.

Do It In Quattro: A guitar riff you can really sink you’re teeth in to is the main focus of this, the most energetic number on the album so far. Atmospheric, and displaying some superb brass work, this entirely instrumental track is a brave choice-it could well have thrown off the energy of the album, but works as a tight mid-album break that allows a close look at the musical talent of Random Order.

Subway Girl: While a big part of this song is entirely instumental, this is probably my favourite vocal performance on the whole album. Simultaneously sarcastic, sexy, and chock-full of sultry, self-aware lyrics, this is one to light a cigarette to.

Spoiled: Ska gone scary, this mellow piece of almost surfer-rock has a pile of layered-up guitars to pick to pieces and a brilliant syncopated brass licks over the chorus. The pace lifts off a little here, but in a good way; allowing you to catch a breath and appreciate some great musicality.

Trans Mission: A hefty hit of bass is the first thing that jumps out of this song. Straight back into the ink-black deep end, it’s one of the easiest songs to listen to on Black Lipstick Kisses-there are fewer spiky edges, and more mellow, wobbly guitars.

10 Things: This is pure reggae; a lusciously instrumented, fully-realised anti-love song with a great vocal line and a neat guitar solo that meshes perfectly with the brass underneath. Impossible to dislike.

Black Heart: Entering into the final charge of the album now, this is probably the most outrightly rock-and-roll of the whole album. Chunky guitar swims around underneath light percussion, and once again we’re in the realm of love songs from hell. Full of bass that’s been snapped off and sprinkled over the top, it’s got a hefty edge to counterpoint the last song.

Excess or Rise: The album closer is a triumphant charge to the end credits; mixing dark verses with intricate, melancholic choruses, it sums up the album that came before it perfectly. Hefty, strident and without remorse: says it all, really.


Random Order, Black Lipstick Kisses

Rating 8/10

Best Songs: Black Heart, Subway Girl, Morning After the Kill, Do It In Quattro

In A Sentence: An arrogant, unapologetic soundtrack for a movie we all want to see.