The Flaming Lips - The Terror - Album Cover - (2013)


01. Look… The Sun Is Rising
02. Be Free, A Way
03. Try To Explain
04. You Lust
05. The Terror
06. You Are Alone
07. Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
08. Turning Violent
09. Always There In Our Hearts



Here comes our favorite mad musical scientist, Wayne Coyne, with his legendary band, to destroy your carefully constructed mental world with ambitious and synapse frying sounds. Fans could sense what this album would be like, with the title The Terror alone. We had a bit of preview of the tone when THE FLAMING LIPS played Look…the Sun is Rising on Late Night with David Letterman, the track is the opener to almost fifty-five minutes of dark foreboding. This is not Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, the 2002 release that saw one song used for a Mitsubishi advert and which made them more of a household name. Previously they had some mainstream recognition with the single success of She Don’t Use Jelly off 1993’s Transmissions from the Satellite Heart.

Now the thing to keep in mind with THE FLAMING LIPS, they have been a band since 1983, putting them in the sparsely populated indie-rock super strata of bands that have grown up together over an extended period of time, like YO LA TENGO, yet still manage to be culturally relevant. Against all odds, THE FLAMING LIPS have managed to stay true to their creative roots, releasing albums that alternately challenge, confuse, frustrate and delight. Remember, in 1997 they hit us with Zaireeka, a four-disc album that requires that all discs be played simultaneously. At one point, they conducted the Parking Lot Experiment, which consisted of 40 cars with their tape decks playing simultaneously. As always, THE FLAMING LIPS tread a razor’s edge between music and the impossible, which has led to rumors of psychological collapse and a few line-up changes. Despite a collaboration with KE$HA, this is not mindlessly produced pop.

So what does it sound like? The Terror could be the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi film, for that scene when the survivors are crawling out of dark bunkers and taking in the blasted wasteland before them. Full of electric effects and vibrato laced keyboard, at points the lyrics are barely discernible, the vocals are so produced. You will hear all the beepy and pneumatic sounds you would expect from a spaceship. The brightest and most cheerful spot is the opening track.  You Lust devolves into a drone-filled meditation, the key lyric is a hissed and accusatory “Last to succeed…last to succeed.”  The title track of The Terror has barely-there keyboards and minimal electronic instruments. It is safe to say this is the most stripped down FLAMING LIPS album. Forget expansive symphonic strings, this album has them taking things away, and leaving ethereal trails with synths, percussion and spacey vocal overdubs. So strap on your space suit and oxygen mask, and float away into a dark dream world, and, like one track tells us, remember You Are Alone.

Stream the entire album now over at