Black Lips Biography

The Atlanta, Georgia-based garage rock revivalists the Black Lips established their reputation in the early 00s with a live act that bordered on the fringes of legality, and indeed led the band to being banned from several venues in their home state. Forming in 2000, the original line-up comprised Cole Alexander (vocals/guitar), Ben Eberbaugh (1980, USA, d. 1 December 2002, Georgia, USA; guitar), Jared Swilley (bass/vocals) and Joe Bradley (drums/vocals), and made its recording debut in 2002 with the single ‘Ain’t Comin’ Back’. A succession of independent releases followed before the band was signed to Greg Shaw’s Bomp! Records label. Tragedy struck shortly before the release of their self-titled debut album, when guitarist Eberbaugh was killed in a car accident. The remaining trio vowed to continue to honour their friend’s memory, and recruited Hines as their new guitarist. Black Lips! demonstrated a keen musical understanding beneath the band’s raucous rock ‘n’ roll swagger, and the album was given an enthusiastic welcome by the US alternative scene.

Following the release of the slightly less essential We Did Not Know The Forest Spirit Made The Flowers Grow, the Black Lips relocated to the Californian independent label In The Red Recordings for the release of 2005’s Let It Bloom. By this point Ian Brown aka Ian St. Pe had joined in place of Hines, but there was little musical progress evident on the album with the band sticking true to the limited but highly enjoyable garage punk blueprint established on their earlier releases. A further label change saw the quartet switch to Vice Records for two 2007 releases, the live Los Valientos Del Mundo Nuevo and the studio set Good Bad Not Evil. Alexander, Swilley and Bradley also play together in the Spooks, while the former has released solo material under the title Old King Cole Younger.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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