The Black Lips take Back from the Grave-style garage punk frenzy to such extremes of slavering cacophony that they border on experimental noise rock at times. Tossing musical decorum out the window while barreling down memory lane, this is the perfect album for Swamp Rats fans who think the Sonics are too tame. Performed with far more gusto than finesse and recorded at several different locations to ensure lack of consistency in the tinny sound, We Did Not Know the Forest Spirit Made the Flowers Grow is an avalanche of distortion and fuzz, with occasional variety provided from touches such as the slower swamp blues of "Dawn of the Age of Tomorrow," the mock classicality of "Nothing at All/100 New Fears," and the pulsating organ on "Notown Blues." There are even a few hooks that manage to surface from the thunderous din, although this album is best appreciated if you don't expect the melodicism of a power pop band. The CD also includes a "hidden" track of experimental noodling, as well as a Quicktime video of "Fad."
AllMusic Review by Todd Kristel
feat: Ben Eberbaugh