Controversy has followed the Black Lips throughout their fifteen-year career. The Atlanta-bred “flower punks” are notorious for their stage antics, which have included fireworks, nudity, and a bunch of other stuff we probably can’t print here. But underneath the provocation, there’s a genuine willingness to simply have a good time and spread music far and wide. In 2012, the Black Lips ventured to the Middle East, becoming one of the first Western bands to play Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Cyprus, and the United Arab Emirates (the tour is chronicled in the documentary Kids Like You And Me). The group also planned to be the first to play Antarctica, but a little band by the name of Metallica beat them to it.
The Black Lips’ globetrotting is about to kick off 0nce again with the release of Underneath The Rainbow, out March 18. For their seventh album, the Lips recorded around the country and worked with a number of producers, including Tommy Brenneck (Cee Lo Green, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley) and Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. The result is a beefed-up sound without sacrificing the Lips’ anarchic atmosphere. They even reveal a swampy, countryfied side on first single “Boys In The Wood,” proving that the Black Lips still have a few tricks up their sleeves. And if you want a wild show, catch them live at SXSW 2014.