NPR logo

Starting Over

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/100813486/100810400" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Black Lips: 'Starting Over,' Against All Logic

Black Lips: 'Starting Over,' Against All Logic

Starting Over

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/100813486/100810400" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Starting Over"
  • Artist: Black Lips
  • CD: 200 Million Thousand
  • Genre: Rock

Buoyed by its killer hook, Black Lips' "Starting Over" is a ramshackle gem that's more than the sum of its parts. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

Members of the Atlanta-based band Black Lips describe their music as "flower punk," which sounds suspiciously like a term made up for the purposes of a press release. But in this case, it's actually pretty apt: The group combines the messier impulses of punk, psychedelia, '60s rock and '90s Britpop, complete with a carefully cultivated reputation for unruliness which includes (but has not been limited to) urinating on each other, vomiting onstage and setting their instruments on fire. So it's pretty much an acquired taste.

On the new 200 Million Thousand, Black Lips' members appear to take themselves a bit more seriously, while still maintaining their reputation as lovable pranksters obsessed with bodily fluids. "Starting Over" may be the best evidence that, against all logic, the new approach is working. Mixing Byrds-ian jangle-pop with shouty garage punk, it's an unlikely but strangely successful combination.

"Starting Over" sounds as if it were made by cavemen — or perhaps a group of slow-witted 7-year-olds with access to their parents' Vandals albums — but it possesses a weirdly hypnotic allure. It doesn't consist of much more than 10 lines, mostly yelled unintelligibly in a fake British accent. But, buoyed by its killer hook and Black Lips' obvious enthusiasm, it's a ramshackle gem that's more than the sum of its parts.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Purchase Featured Music

200 Million Thousand

Purchase Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
200 Million Thousand
Artist
Black Lips
Label
Vice
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.