TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 |
Listening to The Black Lips is kind of like the first time you watched South Park back in the 90s. At first, you heard about the show from some friends who hyped it up as "the craziest shit ever", so you caught an episode on TV but still approached it with a heavy dose of skepticism. After ten minutes and about 42 F-bombs in, you realize you've been suckered in by the whole WTF absurdity of a half hour cartoon devoted to construction paper third graders cussing, dying, and hanging out with Satan on national television. You were hooked.
However, the shock-factor of the whole spectacle eventually died off for you, but you still stuck with it and started picking up on the little social commentaries here and there. You said to yourself, "Hey this stuff is pretty smart for a bunch of fart jokes." Your interest was reborn. What started off as a guilty pleasure became something you grew to genuinely love and appreciate, and at that point you realized that you were a bonafide fan.
The music of The Black Lips does exactly that. They lure you in with their spit happy disdain for anything remotely related to musicianship, while tying you down with their brilliant, crack-addict hooks that leave you feeling good. They're wild, frenetic, and cool all at the same time.
In essence, The Black Lips are the Eric Cartmans of '60s revivalist garage rock.
Even though their last album, Good Bad Not Evil is a little over a year old, it's still rawer, raunchier, and more rock and roll than anything else that's come out in the past 365 days. They've become the poster boys for the latest version of the talent-less rock movement, evoking an attitude that first manifested in the late 70s punks with the Sex Pistols and resurfaced briefly in the 90s with grunge. However, unlike the Pistols, The Black Lips pull off not caring without deliberately looking the part. They're genuine. They're real. And they're waaay fucking fun.
Standout tracks like "O Katrina!" and "Bad Kids" blaze along with sing-song-y pop infectiousness and super fuzzy guitar tones, while "Navajo" and "Cold Hands" have a palpable, southern twang that saddles up on the fast and furious drumming of Joe Bradley. Top it off with a multi-pronged, chorale attack that howls its soul into each and every track, and The Black Lips start sounding like the band you wish you started with YOUR friends.
Good Bad Not Evil is an album for anyone who ever picked up a guitar and had every intention of becoming the next Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix, but due to a lack of talent, laziness, ordinariness, etc., shifted their idols to Steve Jones and Johnny Ramone. Good Bad Not Evil is an album for the everyman who still finds fart jokes funny, but fancies themselves intelligent enough to realize its inherent limitations. In doing so, The Black Lips make music fun enough for everyone to love, but genius enough so that only a select few can really appreciate. - chris gayomali