Look guys, I love the Flaming Lips a lot. I’d go so far as to say that they’re one of my favorite bands ever. Sometimes I’m pretty sure they’re my favorite even (at least top five). And you know what? I pretty much love Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots too (I mean who doesn’t?), but what I say next I say out of love: goddammit, I really don’t want to hear my beloved Lips play some of those songs ever again. After the skronk fest of 2009’s Embryonic and all of the frequently amazing long-form experiments and collaborations that ensued afterwards, it just seems that the Lips have much more potential as a live band than the standard greatest hits spectacle that they offer.
Well, Wayne Coyne and peeps have a new record coming out, and last Thursday at their headlining gig at SXSW, the Lips lived up to their experimental live potential by performing The Terror in its entirety. The album isn’t quite as bashy as some of the band’s recent work, but it’s instead wonderfully cold, electronic, and Kraut-y. A huge theme for the Lips’ work throughout their career is the eternal struggle between good and evil, and The Terror seems to explore this concept more completely and maturely than perhaps any of the Lips’ other records. This live recording of the new material sounds great, but it really just makes me want to hear the whole thing in its fleshed-out studio form. It’d also be great to hear it without the army of dudes screaming to hear “Yoshimi” or “The Wand” between every song. I really hope the Lips don’t listen to those dudes and instead pull a Greendale-era Neil Young and play The Terror in its entirety on tour, because it pretty much rules.
The Terror is out April 16 — yes, new release date — via Warner Brothers. You can stream the Lips’ live performance of the album in its entirety, courtesy of Slow Nerve Action, below: