Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Up from the Muck: It's the Black Lips!!
Tennessee Williams described Southern Gothic as having an "intuition of an underlying dreadfulness in modern experience." With their unkempt hair, wiry frames, and complete disregard for dental hygiene (one of the guitarists had grillz), the Black Lips look like they crawled out of a backwater swamp. Hailing straight from Atlanta, the Black Lips promise us self described "flower punk." I'm going to go with my first analogy because there is nothing flowery about them. Dirty and sweaty swamp punk is more like it and their live shows capture this "underlying dread" with such past staples involving peeing, public drunkenness, fist fighting, vomiting (the other guitarist did this allover himself Monday night) and sexual acts (both guitarists swapped tongues Monday night and it is reported that a female fan in Tijuana could not keep her excitement to herself and just had to show the band how excited she truly was right on stage.) They pull off the rawness of the early Rolling Stones and the white noise of the Velvet Underground with a Southern rock vibe amazingly well. Sure, this isn't new but, just another garage rock band? Not at all. Brilliant songs like the amped up surf rock of "Not a Problem", the working class Yardbird-like anthem "Workin'" the fire and brimstone dirge that is "The Empassant", the lethargic and droning "Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah" or the violent dance punk of "Can't Dance" are testament to this. My nomination for possible favorite however is the seedy re-write of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "The Kids Are Alright" that makes up the beach side romance of "Dirty Hands." Saving this as one of their later and slower numbers of the night, the band asked us in the audience, "Do you really want to hold my dirty hands?" Not likely. Finally, they end "'cause you're gonna do what you want to do." Hmmm, they've got a point there. The Black Lips are dangerous for America's youth. Oh yeah, and they're fun too. One of my new favorites.
Don't forget to pick up 2005's Let it Bloom