Mark Tester
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April 05, 2007
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Rock Music Reviews
Black Lips
Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo

"This is going to be the best live record of all time!"

I love rock 'n' roll, just as much as the next person does. Maybe even as much as Joan Jett claims to.

But I hate live albums.

I especially hate live albums by rock bands because that usually entails a bunch of, "You guys ready," "I can't hear you" and other annoying banter.

However, Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo is not only brilliant, but it just might be, as the Black Lips declare in the middle of their set, the greatest live record ever.

Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo was recorded in front of a rowdy crowd of locals, punks, misfits, rabble-rousers and hipsters in Tijuana, Mexico. Between members of the band getting beat up during the set and the ecstatic screams in both English and Spanish from people in the crowd, it's safe to say that this was a straight-up party. It's not often that a live record manages to capture the tense, care-free atmosphere of a band playing on the floor in front of a ruckus, sometimes even destructive, crowd, but this record does and it certainly adds to the dynamic.

Perhaps the best thing about Los Valientes is that it captures the live essence of a true rock band in an age where rock 'n' roll is more of a fashion statement and a style of haircut and dress than it is in any way earnest, real or exciting. It also captures the Black Lips at a point where no one is going to see them in hopes of hearing a hit single or any song in particular by the band. Their performance is far from watered down by expectations of recording an album that somehow captures a significant portion of their catalog while still appealing to their fans. If anything, this album carries more of a "we recorded this live record of us having a blast and fuck you if you don't like it" vibe, which should always be preferred.

In contradiction to what I just wrote, this particular vibe actually helps the record be a lot more appealing and makes Los Valientes a consistent and cohesive album. It's also important to note that while the Black Lips are obviously just a couple punks in a garage band, the live versions of these songs not only stand up to the original album versions, but in many cases (such as the first track "MIA" and the sped up, psych-ed out version of "Sea of Blasphemy") are actually better than their original recorded versions.

The only real drawback to this album is that Los Valientes doesn't really offer any new material and is just comprised of the Black Lips back catalog. But then again it shouldn't really have to have anything new because it's a live record ... The best live record of all time.

Release date: February 20, 2007
Label: Vice
Rating: 9.1 / 10

[RMR]