Music » Livewire

Black Lips


The relentless, hip-shaking crunch of the Black Lips' voodoo garage rock has helped revive a lust for evil, Crypt Records-style rock and roll.

In its short but storied career, the Atlanta outfit's knack for getting banned in Georgia venues has attracted a lot of attention. Nevertheless, the Lips have been riding a wave of good press since 2005, when mainstream rags like Rolling Stone started drooling all over them shortly after the release of Let It Bloom, a totally noisy groovefest.

The group's new disc, Good Bad Not Evil, just released on 9/11, possesses the primal spirit of Beefheart and, amazingly enough, the '60s hooks of the Shangri-Las. Drunk as all hell, singer and bassist Jared Swilley recently described his group's newfound pop instincts as "Amazing -- I can't even believe that we did that."

Although the Black Lips rock out garage-style, there's an avant edge to their sound. In fact, the Lips' volatile live shows speak directly to Cleveland's legendary underground rock scene. For local degenerates whose ears are tuned to the Pagans, Mirrors, and Electric Eels, this Atlantean tribe of "flower punk" misfits definitely proves that the Rock Hall can be located in your own garage, if you've got the right instincts.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.