jason stives previews The Black Lips’ concert tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom in New York …
As the dog days of summer march on and we near its sweltering climax, there is still time to indulge in some damn fine rock n’ roll music. While your girl is off spending boo coo bucks on the Katy Perrys of the world, the boys can take the Big Apple by storm on Friday, July 29 when psych garage rock stalwarts The Black Lips hit The Bowery Ballroom for a headlining show in promotion of their latest release, Arabia Mountain.
Formed in Atlanta, the band — composed of Jared Swilley (bass, vocals), Cole Alexander (lead guitar), Ian Saint Pe (guitar), and Joe Bradley (drums) — are one of the driving forces in modern garage rock, never mimicking nor sampling their roots but creating a sound that appeals to current music fans and those that came before them. A highly cultured and trend-setting time period has greatly helped the appeal of the quartet over six albums since 2003. Their 2007 release, Good Bad Not Evil, catapulted their reputation garnering them critical praise as well as mention and use in mainstream media such as their song “Bad Kids” being featured on the soundtrack to the 2009 indie cult hit 500 Days Of Summer.
For a band that started out as a bunch of sneering punk kids deemed a “subculture danger” that got them kicked out of high school, they have become indie and garage rock darlings to the young and bored music fan disenchanted with the Top 40 hit machine. Songs like “Veni Vidi Vici” and “O Katrina!” capture the band’s raw energy and a shrieking blend of sonic confusion and well crafted jams in the vein of famous psych rock pioneers The 13th Floor Elevators.
Arabia Mountain continues on the expansion of the garage rock tradition they have helped perfect and honor over the past 10 years. With famed producer Mark Ronson at the helm, the band have wielded a polished yet dirty at the foundation rock record akin to bands like The Dirt Bombs and The Mooney Suzuki. Their latest single, “Modern Art,” combines the grimy vocalization of past efforts with a more shoe gazing like approach in the way it invokes uniformity and rebellious agenda for aggravated youth.
Their show at the Bowery will no doubt be an energetic blast of sonic reduction that even the hottest of days of summer will shimmer and shake to. The dog days of summer are indeed here, so bite back and howl to some great tunes.