It might be wrapped in a colourful, psychedelic cover but it is definitely something else on the inside. The Terror, the 13th edition to add to the Flaming Lips’ back catalogue, is a rather dark compilation of experimental songs. Despite being renowned for their lighthearted and spirited background, the main men in the band Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, it has recently been rumoured, hit a rough patch away from the microphones.
The band had four years to cook up this album; maybe they should have kept it in the oven a bit longer.
The album starts off with “Look… The Sun is Rising”. It’s a promising start. The song whispers post-apocalyptic tones of a dark future. Then, when the album continues you soon find that the drones of experimental – almost – mechanicalness drowns the rest of the album.
The lyrics are all very repetitive and seem like someone went for a long lunch and they hit repeat in a loop before they left. After a solid five songs you would think you were listening to the same song over and over again. Great hooks and good riffs are few and far between and are pretty much non-existent through the majority of the album.
You found yourself finding bad bass riffs and weird sounds good just because they were different noises from what you inevitably get used to. For most of the album you feel like you are in a wind tunnel or in the car with the window rolled down on the motorway or trapped in a tumble dryer.
You keep waiting for something, anything to kick in and relieve you of the boredom you are facing but nothing does. It simply goes on and on.
The saviours of the album could include the vocal melody in Butterfly (How Long it Takes to Die) and the sadly, short lived rock-out moment in “Always There… In Our Hearts” with the pounding drums.
The first half a minute of “You Lust”, was bassy and had a lot of potential but unfortunately was overruled by the same monotonous buzzing. “You Lust” is the centre epic for this album. It is 13:02 minutes long. I felt like it was just the same thing that I was listening to. I gave the song the benefit of the doubt and had to actively check my computer was running smoothly… it was.
The Flaming Lips are playing three dates in the UK in late May. Two dates in London and one in Brighton. They are also coming back from Europe and the US to play at the Isle of Wight’s Bestival.
Lead vocalist, Wayne Coyne, gave the album’s general idea in a press release. Coyne said:
“We want, or wanted, to believe that without love we would disappear, that love, somehow, would save us that, yeah, if we have love, give love and know love, we are truly alive and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror is, we know now, that even without love, life goes on… we just go on… there is no mercy killing”.
I’m sorry boys, but I don’t think I’m going to jump on the bandwagon here. I’m afraid I just… don’t get it.
By Lisa Nicole-Mitchell