There is as much art in obtaining the correct lift as there is in wilful originality. So say the wiser-than-I, and they may have a point. In today's market there seems little truly without peer or influence. Luckily, a well-chosen borrow can say much more about an artist than unlistenable experimentalism can. As always, it is just a question of what you do with it that counts.
Austin's The Strange Boys take the same influences as do Black Lips, but whereas their simple rhythm and blues is not afraid to rock, The Strange Boys seem more happily mired in diaphanous ethereality to care (in a good way). Ryan Sambol's sometimes-otherworldly and nasal vocal matches their relaxed garage-rock bounce round for round.
The psychedelic 60s of The Doors' "LA Woman" is brought to mind on early highlight "They're Building The Death Camps" before the boys later coerce her with sunny drugs as the track begins to space out. The horizontal rhythms of "Poem Party" jangle around a surf-rock riff, whereas "To Turn A Tune Or Two" and "Should Have Shot Paul" slide effortlessly towards the blues.
Just as Black Lips remain a loveably lo-fi proposition, so hopefully will The Strange Boys stay. Their catchy refrains and shambling rock `n' roll are as admirable as their seeming approach to equality and inclusion. Recommended.