Into The Sea is the garage bands sophomore album
Before I even knew who Black Lung were, I had heard they were messy skaters and they liked to drink. Their tech rider at the time read something like, “guitar, amp, mic, drums, tambourine, BOTTLE OF JACK DANIELS”. I think we booked them in 2013 and I may be remembering this inaccurately, but my memory of the show was that they showed up about an hour late. Completely arseholed already, they staggered onto the stage wielding a totemic bottle of Jack Daniels. The bottle was empty by the end of the show, and every song they sang had a chorus that sounded like “blaaa luuung”.
Even then there was immense energy – albeit alcohol-fuelled – in their performance. And by god who wouldn’t be captivated by the black-clad, bottle swinging, misfits. What made them good was not their songs, which were pretty awful back then, it was their authenticity. There wasn’t a stitch of pretention in their torn jeans and missing guitar strings. This authentic energy is what the band still brings to every performance four years later, and this energy has been captured in their new album Into The Sea. Gone are the days of the old Black Lung slop and what steps forth now is mature and skilful songcraft. From the sensitivity of ‘The Sea’; the experimentation in noise and discordance of songs like ‘Darkness’ and ‘Dissonance’; to the Joy Division style tribal cyclicism of ‘Black Lung Ryder’, Into The Sea is rearing its ugly head as the best South African underground album of 2017.
Although the band has grown from those early performances into a completely different creature, one whose teeth are sharper, scales brighter and voice more scaresome, the leviathan still lurks in the dank depths and remains primeval and as wicked as ever.
Stream and download Into The Sea below: