Psychedelic rock freaks The Flaming Lips have done it all: six-hour songs, 24-hour jams, skulls made of edible gum (although I wouldn’t eat it), vinyl records pressed from blood and, of course, their annual New Year’s Eve countdowns. Their latest aural experiment is called The Terror . Their previous ‘album,’ if you discount the six-hour song ‘Found a Star on the Ground’, was Embryonic , a journey that was happy, chaotic and shattering in many ways. This band clearly loves writing through a theme, but not a concept, on their albums. The Terror is exactly what the name conveys — dark, haunting and eerie soundscapes.
Like all psychedelic music, this album needs patience and a lot of time. Vocalist Wayne Coyne and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd take 13 minutes with ‘You Lust’, a psychotic trip that acts a prelude to the title track. ‘The Terror’ has barely any words and, even when you hear them, they’re lost in the haze of modulated delay and echo effects. The tribal psychedelic vibe kicks in with repetitive, trance-inducing drumming on songs like ‘Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die’. You begin to lose them a bit in ‘Turning Violent’, which seems a little lacklustre. Then we’re led into the cinematic, poignant and noisy album closer ‘Always there in our Hearts’, which is quite similar to the eerie album opener, ‘Look... The Sun Is Rising’.
You could end up missing a few songs if you don’t focus but that’s kind of The Flaming Lips’ challenge; they want you to pick up the subtleties, but also to space out on their ambient trip. On another listen, the entire album can be one seamless 55-minute journey into a dark corner. But if none of this is your scene, the band released their non-album single ‘Sun Blows Up Today,’ a gooey, synth-guitar-drums frenzy of a track, probably just to throw fans off track regarding the real sound of the album.
The Terror;The Flaming Lips, Universal Music, Rs.395.
An album that needs patience.