These Atlanta-based garage-punk brats have figured out an effective way to distinguish themselves from the countless other bands working the same stylistic turf: the prettier and more refined their music gets, the crazier their extra-musical antics become. (Last month, it's reported, they were chased out of India after guitarist Cole Alexander tried out the pants-less look during a show in Chennai — an account, like most of the Lips' tall tales, that should be taken with a grain of saffron.)
As with the quartet's earlier albums, the fuzz-bomb blasts on 200 Million Thousand salute any number of vintage-vinyl forebears: the 13th Floor Elevators, the Troggs, pretty much any of the acts featured on Nuggets. But here they make less of an effort to conceal the pop smarts percolating beneath the slop-rock surface; catchy little gems like "Starting Over" and "I'll Be with You" help make this the most satisfying Black Lips album yet. Inspiration and idiocy — it's quite a combo.
BLACK LIPS | Middle East Downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | March 7 | 18+ | $12 |www.mideastclub.com