They’ve got three LPs and loads of singles on some of the coolest indie labels in America. They’ve toured Europe twice. They’ve been touring the States for the last six years. They’ve just become of legal age to hang out in the bars they play in. They’ve played five shows in the New York area in the last month, but call Atlanta home. They have songs called “Feeling Gay,” “Dirty Hands,” and “Everybody Loves a Cocksucker,” that alternate from Hank-drawled country, Soledad Brothers-esque blues and Stonsey rock with kerosene soaked vocals that go from yodels to screams. The kids who come out to their shows I’ve never seen before, but they all know all the words and crowd surf/stage dive even when there’s no stage to dive off of. They are the Black Lips, and the sooner you accept them into your life, the better off you’ll be.
The first time I saw them was in a tiny bar in Brooklyn last month. They opened with this weird chuggy country song then launched into a Swell Maps tinged punk pounder called “Katrina.” They set off fire works on stage, filling the tiny bar with smoke. Drummer Joe sat behind the kit and screamed in the intro count, in fact, offered filler screams throughout most of the songs. Front men Jared and Cole alternated verses and choruses, screaming, singing and growling their alternately witty, fucked up and sinister lyrics. Silent lead guitar player Ian stood with his mouth slightly open, exposing his metal-fronted teeth. Yup. Dude has mouth bling all along his top row of teeth.
That first weekend they were in town, I saw them in Brooklyn, then drove to Maxwell’s in Jersey to see them on a Sunday night. This past weekend the boys played a Todd P. sponsored show at a Polish Bar in Greenpoint on Friday. No fireworks, no stage, but crowd surfing and blood spillage. Saturday they played Maxwell’s again, and in true new-fandom, a friend and I caught the early show at North Six last night. That’s the kind of fanaticism the band inspires. This isn’t some band who wheels it out for the show, the Black Lips give everything to every show, inspiring the crowd to do the same. From on-stage make out sessions between Cole and Ian, to great big crowd howls before launching into songs, to Ian smashing a full bottle of beer against his guitar to make a jagged glass slide, to Cole undoing his pants to have his dick take over guitar duties, this is a band you need immerse yourself in immediately. Check out their MySpace page for tunes. Check out their old page at BOMP! and watch the hilarious “Fad” video with dress up, and buy We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made the Flowers Grow. Seriously. You need this record. If you’re West Coast-oriented, go check them out when they tour California starting this weekend. But be warned, you will fall in love.