The Black Lips

  • Tue 28 Feb 2012 – King’s Arms, Auckland

For the newcomers, imagine, the Beastie Boys playing Nuggets influenced rock and roll. Did you see them last time they were over? If you did you’ll know that their live show involves three front men singing lead, flying blood, group kissing, sudden nudity and sometimes fireworks explosions. If you didn’t then time to pull your finger out of your ass and get wise.

Their latest album Arabia Mountain was recorded with famed producer Mark Ronson — who is known for both his sharply-honed solo albums Version and Record Collection, and his production work for the likes of Sean Paul, Nas, Kaiser Chiefs, Adele and most notably UK soul-pop diva Amy Winehouse’s international breakthrough Back To Black. Arabia Mountain finds the Black Lips digging deep into the roots of their exposed-nerve sound whilst exploring new possibilities in their music.

Singer-guitarist Cole Alexander explains: “We’re not purists who just want to sound old, but there are certain recording techniques which were used a long time ago that sound really good, and can be used in today’s context. We felt Mark Ronson understood that.”

While the band have by no means turned their backs on the storming punk and garage-rock that is the core of their confrontational style, the album showcases a willingness to push the bands’ stylistic boundaries further than ever before.

Alexander elaborates: “We tried to do what we do best, and keep it raw, but we also opened up to working with a producer and experimenting with new sounds. We tried to keep doing what we’re doing, while expanding and growing at the same time.”