Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 15/4
The Flaming Lips
Written by: BV on 20/02/2017 19:55:55
The Flaming Lips can, at their best, be viewed as pioneers and continued purveyors of alternative psychedelia-tinged pop and rock music. At their worst, they can be seen as a mere pastiche of all that made them great – conveniently condensed into often hilariously long albums. Their latest effort, “Oczy Mlody”, is hard to place in either category. Following up on the rather disappointing “The Terror” from 2013 as well as 2014’s, err, special Beatles tribute “With A Little Help From My Fwends”, “Oczy Mlody” has a fair deal to prove if The Flaming Lips are to be regarded as anything other than a consistent live show at this point in time.
Opening with the title track, Flaming Lips set out on a musical quest kind of similar to that on “The Terror”. Ambient soundscapes and semi-dystopian synth sounds dominate the slow-building soundscape to reach an eventual peak – or something along the lines of a peak, at least. You see, the predominant feel to a lot of these tracks seem to be a never-ending buildup cascading towards some amazing peak which, sadly, doesn’t really come around half the time. On the title track it remains unresolved. Then you have “There Should Be Unicorns” with its glitch beginning and rather freaky intro segment. This is probably one of the first points of “Oczy Mlody” where you feel like the music is building towards something. Granted, the buildup remains incredibly slow, but at least we seem to be getting somewhere – especially with Wayne Coyne singing trippy lines like; ”Yeah, there should be day glow strippers / Ones from the Amazon / Some edible butterflies / We put ketchup on“. I mean, yeah. They come off as kind of banal, but then again that’s a rather charming quality the Flaming Lips have always mastered – look no further than “Do You Realize??” to witness banality in full splendor on a glorious track.
“One Night While Hunting for Wizards to Kill” bears the longest title of the album, yet hasn’t got nearly enough power to really live up to a glorious title like this. The slow buildups that are ever-present on “Oczy Mlody” remain, well, present. Suddenly the track erupts into a semi-psychedelic, mid-tempo dance track I find only mildly intriguing. As far as trips go, the Flaming Lips seem to be running short of the great ones, apparently settling for a flat buzz here and there until they get a good groove going. Like is the case with “We A Famly”, the only track on the album featuring Miley Cyrus, yet ironically also the album’s strongest track – bringing back memories of both “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” and “At War With the Mystics”. It’s spacious, it’s a head-rush of strange little beeps that shouldn’t get stuck in your head but somehow do and, most of all, it pulls of the near-symphonic sound the Flaming Lips are going for. As far as good trips go, this is a pretty damn solid one – but it simply cannot elevate the remaining parts of “Oczy Mlody” to more than a mediocre experience. It’s truly a bummer, but that’s how it is.
Download: We A Famly, There Should Be Unicorns
For The Fans Of: Animal Collective, Mercury Rev, Of Montreal
Release date 13.01.2017
Warner Bros. Records
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