The Atlanta garage rockers Black Lips played to a packed Music Hall of Williamsburg in support of their ninth studio album Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart. The founding duo of guitarist Cole Alexander and bassist Jared Swilley took center stage like intoxicated ring masters to a wildly debaucherous circus, and the show was a spectacle that always felt like it could fly off the rails and end with the whole show burning to the ground. These two wackadoos rose up together from the Atlanta punk scene as high schoolers and emerged into psychobilly and psychedelic surf music by their 90’s college days, and with their new album they now seem to be stomping straight into a full-on country hootenanny territory. They have gone through a number of personnel changes since booming onto the scene in 2007 with their depraved hoedown disc Good Bad Not Evil, but they were joined by a number of wild characters who they’ve been playing with for the last few years from likes of saxophonist fire breather Zumi Rosow, the strong man guitarist Jeff Clarke, and wacky ‘fro clowning around of drummer Oakley Munson. It was a wildly disorienting show that took the whole wild party ascetic to a whole new extreme.
Opening the show was the roaring Brooklyn band The Muckers. They are an extremely impressive local outfit that mix funk and psych-rock with singer Emir Mohsseni wailing on his axe and bassist Anthony Azar laying down some of the most mind-bending and tasty bass licks I’ve heard for some time. They are a shredding band you should try to see and spin around the room to.
Then you had the face-melting metal sounds of Warish, who are a deafening noise-rock trio from Cali that is headed by guitarist-vocalist Riley Hawk (who is famed skater Tony Hawk’s son) and driven home by drummer Bruce McDonnell and bassist Alex Bassaj. Their sonic blasts can and will rattle that brain against your skull and cause more that a little ringing in your ears. Their heavily distorted licks swerve from the rattling drone of greats like Sleep, Sun O))), & Yon as well as more absurdist rippers like Butthole Surfers and the Misfits, and their mixtures produce a glorious roar that is certainly with experiencing for yourself, if you dare.
Black Lips came out and immediately things derailed, as Cole couldn’t get his guitar and amp to perform properly, which actually produced an aptly despondent tone to the wicked happenings. They played a lot of their new stuff, but not a whole lot of their classic material, at least not until deep into the show. I guess omitting their big hit “Bad Kids” made sense since their ex-drummer Joe Bradley was the main singer on that track. However, they did open with “Sea of Blasphemy” that got the crowd going and eventually peppered in classics like “Cold Hands” and of course “O Katrina!” within their encore. It was a wacky show that had a surprisingly younger crowd singing along to every song, showing that they still translate to that youthful need to get craaaaaaaazy!
Article: Dean Keim