Black Lab

Black Lab

Black Lab

See The Sun


To paraphrase lead singer Paul Durham, Black Lab got out of the music business in order to concentrate on the business of making music. And just one listen to the band’s sophomore album, See The Sun, proves that was a wise decision.

Eight years have passed since the band’s debut album, Your Body Above Me, was released to great acclaim — the San Francisco Chronicle labeled them “the American U2” — and releasing See The Sun has not been an easy process. After intense legal negotiations, Black Lab managed to get the master recordings from their former label, and given the quality of the material, it’s easy to see why the band fought so hard to independently release these songs.

From the astonishing pop brilliance of the opening title track right up to the majestic beauty of album closer “Circus Lights,” it’s clear that the time between albums has allowed Durham to refine the band’s sound. On tracks like “Remember” and “Ecstasy,” the U2 influence is more pronounced than ever. But overall, the dark, brooding nature of the band’s earlier material seems to have been replaced by a more straight ahead pop-rock sound. “Dream In Color” is a perfect example of this change: an irresistible melody combines with Durham’s pleading, strangely hypnotic vocals to create a pop masterpiece, which along with the punchy rock of “Without You” lays a claim to be the album’s highlight among some very tough competition.

Quite simply, See The Sun is one of the best rock albums —independent or otherwise — of 2005, and it’s to be hoped that Black Lab achieve success their own way and on their own terms after their harsh treatment at the hands of certain know-nothing major label executives.

Black Lab:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Looped

    A fading film star still can turn up the heat in this outrageous comedy.

  • The Book of Merman
    The Book of Merman

    A parody musical about a parody musical about a parody religion.

  • Flood Twin
    Flood Twin

    Flood Twin. Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Los Lobos
    Los Lobos

    Native Sons (New West). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Adam Bloom
    Adam Bloom

    Sugar Sweet (Indie). Review by Christopher Long.

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

  • Mixtape 168 :: Shame Reactions
    Mixtape 168 :: Shame Reactions

    Pom Pom Squad began as songwriter Mia Berrin’s solo operation but now employs four full-time experts in musical munitions and lethal lyrical techniques.

From the Archives