The Black Lips

Published on January 18th, 2020

Black Lips by Dani Pujalte

The Black Lips, like many bands, started out as one thing, but over time have morphed into something completely different. Long gone are the days of random fire and urine showers soaking the audience to provoke a reaction. The band that was once notorious for antics more than for song writing found their niche and the songs began to flow. Once this renaissance bloomed, the Black Lips continued to flourish in a scene that they were quickly leaving behind. The band that was a scrappy, garage punk band had begun to write deeper songs with no less sneer but more veneer. 

These days the band that was the Black Lips is nearly unrecognizable to the band that is currently the Black Lips. After a decade of touring non-stop, several members decided to step down and let other musicians enjoy the Black Lips spotlight. The new lineup includes actress, jeweler, Gucci muse and eccentric sax player Zumi Rosow as well as Oakley Munson from The Witnesses and Jeff Clarke of Demon’s Claws.

The new lineup has also inspired a new sound. “Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart,” set for release January 24th on the Vice/Fire label, is an homage to Americana, with an unapologetic southern fried-twang. It’s a slight wink and a nod to a genre that the Black Lips have flirted with in the past; however, with this go-round the band is firmly enmeshed in sequined shirts and the aesthetic of the West. 

The band recorded it at the newly re-opened Valentine Recording Studios in Laurel Canyon. The studio was refurbished to the way it was when Bing Crosby and the Beach Boys recorded there; so the band recorded straight to tape, quick and grimy to produce a sound that’s lived-in and authentic. 

With such a seismic shift for the group, it’s natural to wonder where they’ll go next. Until they unveil their new adventure, we should pound tall boys two-step along with them on the journey they’re on and pray to god we don’t get alcohol poisoning or shot by a jealous husband. 

The Black Lips, with Plastic Pinks and DJ Danny Kokomo (Jacuzzi Boys), play 7pm Friday January 24 at the Ground at Club Space in Miami. black-lips.com ~ Tim Moffatt

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