The Black Lips new album ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ and new single ‘Gentleman’ both continue to flick the middle finger to one and all.
This ain’t another gaggle of bearded southern sons fleeing their collective suburban upbringings and collegiate music education, it’s not a stab at “pure” or “honest” country music. There aren’t the usual clichés about drinking, honkytonks, and heartbreak (with added pedal steel).
These are, after all, the same Black Lips who rescued the waning garage punk subgenre by not sounding or dressing their musical predecessors. They also dug contemporary hip-hop and punk and actualized themselves.
Like Lil Nas X who turned country on its head with ‘Old Town Road’ and, with no interest in recreating the music of their parents and grandparents or even their peers, The Black Lips experienced a new genre-flexible awakening. Like The Byrds who flirted with pastoral aesthetics before going all out with the radical departure that is ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’, the Lips have been messing with country since ‘Sweet Kin’ and ‘Make It’ on their first album some 20 years ago.
Like so many dramatic moments in the Black Lips career, ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ was born out of crisis. The band’s stylistic evolution through decades of prolific touring and recording took them where no garage punk band had gone before – huge venues, network television shows, and major music festivals. The band made a living burning up the road, they were hit hard by line-up changes and relocations along the way while a relentless party lifestyle left a huge personal and creative toll on the band.
Jeweller/actress (and now Gucci muse) Zumi Rosow added sax skronk in a flamboyant style just before the departure of Bradley and St. Pé she went on to assume a bigger role after. Oakley Munson from The Witnesses brought a brand-new beat and a unique backing vocal harmony. And, last year their guitar-slinging amigo from way back saw Jeff Clarke of Demon’s Claws completed the line-up making The Black Lips five prolific collaborating songwriters, voices, and instrumentalists.
Three laborious albums were recorded during this time by big names like Mark Ronson, Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Sean Lennon. Deciding to return to the roots of their raw sound on the new album, the Lips headed into Laurel Canyon’s newly reopened legendary Valentine Recording Studios where they co-produced with help of engineer Nicolas Jodoin recording direct to 2″ tape.
Here Black Lips are at their grimiest, most dangerous and equipped with the best collection of songs since the aughts. Skidding onto the asphalt in a shower of sparks, they roll on with an unapologetic southern-fried twang, pacing the beast, every now and then dropping a psycho howl into the rubber room madness lurking underneath the truckstop fireworks. This ain’t your granny’s country album. And conversely this ain’t your mama’s Black Lips.
‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ is released on limited edition red transparent vinyl with die cut sleeve and poster as well as standard LP and CD.