Garage punk saviors the Black Lips transform from austere country pioneers into a set of Lynchian surrealists, hellbent on recalibrating the history of 21st Century rock ‘n’ roll. Released on Fire Records, their new album ‘Apocalypse Love’ cryogenically mutates all recognized musical bases; it spins yarns about vintage Soviet synths, Benzedrine stupors, coup de’ tats, stolen valor, certified destruction and the creative use of quicksand, all set against a black setting sun.
Propagating a new age for the band, one that’s a long way from Atlanta garage; Black Lips return with a record that’s impregnated with ghost rider-haunted Tarantino-meets-Morricone sounds. ‘Apocalypse Love’ emanates from a dive bar jukebox that’s lit up in the back of your mind; with a playlist that bends between tub thumping doom-glam, Plastic Ono singalongs, cocktail-shaken space age pop, estranged honky tonk and lo-fi outsider acoustic-punk, with mariachi horns, theremins, drum machines and real harmonies filtered through infectious melodies.
“A wonderful new chapter… The world may be on fire, but at least we have Black Lips.” The Line Of Best Fit
The Black Lips’ rapid stylistic evolution has played out over decades of prolific touring and releases, taking them where no garage punk band had gone before – huge venues, network television shows, and major music festivals. Making their living the way they knew how, burning up the road like their heroes – gaining and losing members up and down the highway.
“We had to be in a band, to play live. We had no idea how to record. In the beginning we simulated our live shows, the recording was like being inside a smoky club. I think a lot of people thought we were trying to be intentionally lo-fi, that wasn’t the case” adds Jared Swilley.
2020’s debut for Fire Records, ‘Sing In A World Falling Apart’, was their grimiest, most dangerous, and best collection of songs to date, showing a new-found maturity, their grab bag of influences spiked with a southern twang managed to simultaneously circumnavigate trailer park angst and rubber room madness; like some kind of snapping point during an austere broken country unreality show.
“Simply masters in their field” NME
Forming in 1999, their self-titled debut album was released in 2003, following which their fan base grew with the release of 2004’s ‘We Did Not Know The Spirit Made The Flowers Grow’. The band’s 2007 effort, ‘Good Bad Not Evil’, propelled them onto TV screens on both sides of the Atlantic. Line ups shuffled, stages were invaded, songs were mooted for TV shows and Mark Ronson, Sean Lennon and Black Keys’ Patrick Carney all put in a shift in the producer’s chair as touring momentum increased. In 2013 they added secret weapon Zumi Rosow who was later joined by Oakley Munson on drums and guitarist Jeff Clarke.
As the band venture into their third decade and with huge tours on the horizon, ‘Apocalypse Love’ is proof that The Black Lips show no sign of slowing down…