Album review: The Flaming Lips – The Terror

Flaming Lips - The Terror

Flaming Lips - The Terror - Credit: Archant

Wayne Coyne and friends voyage into difficult sonic territory... but it turns out there’s good in the bad and ugly.

The wobbly and psychedelic goodness that seeped from the pores of the ‘Lips most popular output, The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, has been elbowed to side of stage on this latest opus.

Still experimental, The Terror induces an overarching melacholia, reflecting the band’s vision of a “bleak, disturbing, hopeless” record.

And it is all of these – but they haven’t forgone memorable melodies or mesmeric sound collages in the process.

Recorded at the same time as Heady Fwends, this Krautrock-influenced outing is often brutally honest (the title track carries the lyrics “We are standing alone/The terror’s in our heads/We don’t own the controls”), sad (You Are Alone), and desolate but beautiful (the piano-topped electro-noise of Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die).

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There’s no pop-anthem centrepiece, either; but somehow the harsh, serrated synths and guitars are bent to the will of a band with the vision and skill to make entrancing music.

4 stars

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