The Flaming Lips – Peace Sword
If life is like a box of chocolates, then Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips have been known to over-indulge on the sweetest, darkest, richest ones in the selection. In fact, in recent times they’ve been happy to gorge themselves silly. Heady Fwends was as indigestible as the title suggests. And ‘7 Skies H3’ was longer and even less nourishing than an ever-lasting gobstopper. On this EP, they’re being a little more choosy. They’re still The Flaming Lips. So, lo-fi is no-fi. But, given that, the new regime is good for them. From the first bars of the opening track, ‘Peace Sword (Open Your Heart)’, we find the familiar Flaming Lips ingredients. Huge banks of giant synths. Pounding percussion. Pulsing Bass. Grimey guitar. Hints of electronic burblery. It’s overpowering, exhausting, and very tasty. Here, all of the tracks were written for the Ender’s Game film, though only ‘Peace Sword’, made the cut. Like Ryan Adams previously, when you ask The Flaming Lips to contribute a song to a film, they oblige by composing a score. But it’s perhaps because they were working to at least some imagined brief that the songs on this EP have more discipline than certain recent outings. Take the last track, ‘Assassin Beetle – The Dream Is Ending’, which clocks in at 10 minutes. With that sort of title and at that sort of length, this could be excuse for another bout of self-indulgence. And the almost atonal industrial beginning seems to confirm the hunch. But then the melody from the previous track kicks in and suddenly we’re presented with a much more coherent, rewarding, and satisfying offering than has been served up in recent times. With The Flaming Lips life really is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. This selection leaves you wanting more, which is always a good sign.