Local Wire

Black Lips

It takes balls (not to mention boundless energy) to play a dozen shows in three days at SxSW, but that's exactly what Black Lips did two years ago at the annual music showcase. Whether it was the ultimate display of DIY guts and determination, or just a carefully crafted publicity stunt, it was enough to earn them the title of "Hardest Working Band in Austin" from no less than the New York Times. Black Lips raised eyebrows again at this year's festival when they were joined onstage by Wu-Tang Clansman GZA for a set that has been described as both "the greatest rap/rock collab since Anthrax & Public Enemy" and "a trainwreck." The Atlanta garage-rock quartet has obviously made an impression on fans, bloggers and journalists alike. While their onstage debauchery might have overshadowed their music in the past, their newest album, 200 Million Thousand, displays a more mature sound as Black Lips careen from twangy country to psychedelic blues and even take a stab at hip-hop. Even if the experimentation doesn't always work, it's hard to fault a band for sounding like nobody else in today's oversaturated music scene.
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Mike R. Meyer