What would happen if The Charles Manson family and crew from Jackass dated, mated, and created a new breed of crusty young hooligans? The disturbing result would be Black Lips. Like Monty Python, Wayne Coyne and Fred Schneider strutting in a land of funny walks, such absurd little turds strive to redefine the Webster definition of spectacle.
After they released a bouquet of 7"s, two albums on Bomp! (Black Lips, We Did Not Know the Forest Spirit Made the Flowers Grow) and one on In The Red Records (Let It Bloom, the Black Lips recorded Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo in Tijuana Mexico amongst a lot of borrachos who most likely had no clue what these bedraggled boys from Atlanta were really doing spewing psychedelic Americana on their traditional turf. The live recording consists of tighter, peppier ammunition from the outlandish quartet, reassuring the check writers at Vice that these Mexico murdering madcaps are flower punk's kookiest new salvation.
The album starts off with my man talking all sorts of espaÃ±ol, THE BLACK LIPS he screams, causing the band to lead the drunken Tequila team in yahoo's and whoop-whoops, before riffling into the sure shot "MIA." Cole Alexander's voice is as smooth as a puddle of broken glass, sounding like my man Lint Armstrong after smoking an entire box of hand rolled cigarillos. That gutter drawl side mouth spit pings like The Kinks on acid over sooty sounding guitars, ending in a backlash Iggy Pop-like stage crash.
"Boomerang" brings back a smack of the old sixties sound, slowed way down on account of the band's severe Robitussin overload or mental reaction to huffing household cleaning products. These noises fly out and return to a smattering of staggering applause causing one kid in the band to tell the rowdy bunch, "ok, nobody touch me."
The wackiest number anyone will dial this year, "Sea Of Blasphemy," flares up with shimmering guitars that flip with sound like an electric eel slithering all around your skull tank. These geekouts remind me so much of a Velvet Femmes hybrid, belting aroiund real weird sounds with petrifying undertones.
"Stranger" is a frantic gasp of adrenaline like Psychocandy freaking out on whatever potent powder Spud from Trainspotting sniffed up his Scottish honker.
"Not A Problem," exuding such defiance lyrics as "they can't tell me what I can and cannot do / it's a problem - no one's gonna bother me," erupts with such a snotty vengeance, that this statement of overwhelming rebellion could mop up the floor with The Libertines, Doherty or not. This is a fucking fantastic capture of sound.
"Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah," with trippy tambourine and sitar flare, heightened with freaky whispers and demented laughter, resembles the straight jacket rarely worn by fellow Bomp!ers Brian Jonestown Massacre. As the audio fun fades the actual crowd goes wild. Traditional trumpets are horned strong as the chaos in the room reaches a level of uncontrollable slushiness.
"Boone" is a surf rock score to an underdeveloped David Lynch film. The delirious echoes of the feedbacking guitar rearrange the wax in the ear compound, with a similar mechanical curiosity as that of their sister lips, those Flamers.
"Everybody's Doing It" continues to shoot up into the air where The Dandy Warhols fly high, yet the spike of the Lips shoots a different shot entirely, loaded with a far grimier grain of refrigerated zeal.
"Fairy Stories" feels like making out with my punk rock girl while listening to The Dead Milkmen. "Dirty Hands" skips back to when Joey sang "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," only that gangly oddball never delivered homerun lyrics like "then I got a tattoo of a Chupacabra on my belly button, and he got one that said Mexico City 3,003!"
"Buried Alive" doesn't just sound like a breath of fun air, it's a lungful!
"Juvenile" is the fuck that your lusty mother left your old man in order to have. A great bow to place on this gift that I didn't even have to declare at the border. As the musician's noise deafens, the locals begin to sing, collectively stumbling into the streets on a gust of celebration.
Their previous recordings, where the originals peacefully lay, sound even skuzzier and more abused than these live keepers. The old tape is thin like the mustache of a criminal in a foreign black and white picture. The psychedelic garage rockers have that disgusting stamina like Gwar mixed with the outer space fashion of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Their adolescent behavior is so unorthodox, yet the music is so alluring, that their deplorable stage antics are often overlooked, but never forgotten.
When the Sex Pistols were stirring up the Queen's tea in the late seventies, it was out of frustrated anger, where the brunt of their passion smoldered. But 2007 United States space cases are ten years into the future of insane, breaking down walls that our elders haven't even labored over, loosing their traditional minds in order to find the unconventional unknown. There is no reason for a 20-year-old in this country to want to actually fist fight someone, but never forget that one always enjoys being thrown up on, especially if a video of it was captured by one of the smuttiest rags in Seattle, The Stranger.
In December of 2006 the Black Lips recorded material for their first studio album on VICE, which is slated for a September 07 release. "Cold Hands," the nameless album's jangly hoot of a lead-off single, will be available on June 4. The Black Lips can suck on this any day.
"Cold Hands" video