REVIEW: THE FLAMING LIPS, ‘PEACE SWORD’

REVIEW: THE FLAMING LIPS, ‘PEACE SWORD’

Leigh MichaelTuesday,19 November 2013

The Snap:

Experimental rock band Flaming Lips recently released their EP Peace Sword. The music is inspired by — and featured in — the 2013 sci-fi film “Ender’s Game,” featuring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Abigal Breslin. You can snag the album via iTunes, or stream most of the EP’s songs thanks to a handy curation by Consequence of Sound.

The Download: 

The Flaming Lips have always been a little out there. They are the type of group that seeks out collaborations with Ke$ha and fixate on space opera. They’re weird. But this clearly pays off; the band has been around since the 1980s and is still churning out enormously popular — and impressive — material.

Often credited as the parents of the psychedelic rock movement, they have come to embody “out there” music that everyone — even “non-psych-music-lovers” like myself — can enjoy. For thirty years, they’ve stayed pretty true to their originally strange and beautiful sound, and it continues to completely entrance people.

I remember listening to Embryonic while I was driving down Nevada State Route 375 (yes, also known as the Extraterrestrial Highway) in the middle of the night one summer while embarking on a cross-country journey with my friends. Set amongst the stark desert landscape, and disembodied presence of Area 51, and the late hour, the Flaming Lips seemed like the only proper accompaniment. The vibe holds true every time I listen to them… Whether I’m sitting at my desk or driving down a lonely road.

This EP might not be content-heavy, but it still gives us that beautifully ethereal quality that the Flaming Lips has nabbed so well. Give a listen to “Wolf Children,” with its rhythmic, driving quality, then follow it up with the sparse “Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy.” “Is The Black At The End Good” is loaded with sort of miserable lyrics, but the gorgeous instrumentals more than make up for it. Get back into the groove with “Peace Sword,” (below) a jumpy little ditty that feels almost rambunctious. The only truly missable song is “Assassin Beetle – The Dream Is Ending,” which seems to drag on. And on.

I haven’t seen “Ender’s Game,” so I can’t comment on how the soundtrack complements the film. But if we’re just listening to the music, then I’ll end with: Good show, Flaming Lips, good show.

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Hat Tips:

Rolling Stone, Flaming Lips, Consequence of Sound, Ender’s Game, Image Credit: Flickr



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