For their debut on new label Vice Records, white-hot garage punkers Black Lips chose not to offer a new studio effort (although that is on the horizon), instead issuing a live record so raw that upon first listen, it seems like an accidental bootleg. Bum notes and scotched vocals? Equipment malfunction? Random audience screams at inappropriate times? It's all in the gloriously raucous Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, taped at a chaotic date in Tijuana, Mexico, on a night when the club just happened to offer free tequila to all comers. As a result, many a drunken gringo and cholo alike ends up not only onstage but -- as videos on YouTube attest -- often in physical combat with the band. Oh, and then there's the mariachi band hired by the label, whose horns and screeds in Spanish punctuate the chaos and add a touch of the bizarre. But the Altanta boys seem to take it all in stride. "This is gonna be the best live record of ALL TIME!" one member shouts. Well, no, but it is a raw, authentic primer to the Lips' frenetic Nuggets/Dead Milkmen oeuvre on numbers like "Sea of Blasphemy," "Not a Problem" and the horror-ific "Buried Alive.
Original Lips members Cole Alexander (vocals, guitar), Joe Bradley (drums) and Jared Swilley (bass) started the band with lead guitarist Ben Eberbaugh in 2000 when the median member age was 15. Eberbaugh was later killed in a freak accident when his car was rammed head-on at a toll booth by someone driving the wrong way. Ian St. Pe now fills the guitar slot for the lineup on Los Valientes. Expect the same out-of-control show here in Houston as the one where they recorded Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo, but there probably won't be any free tequila.
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Black Lips perform Sunday, March 18, at The Mink, 3718 Main, 713-522-9985. The Ponys, Deerhunter and the Jonx also perform.