x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

New album from The Flaming Lips is disquieting and enchanting

It's a challenging, darkly psychedelic record featuring white noise, pummelling drums and floaty synth voices.

The Flaming Lips

The Terror

(Bella Union)

****

"The sonic equivalent of Edvard Munch's The Scream," is how The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne describes this record's Try to Explain.

The band, best known for their profound yet reassuringly catchy 2002 single Do You Realise?, are in a much more perplexing mood on The Terror. Big on white noise, pummelling drums and floaty, disembodied-sounding synth voices, it's a challenging, darkly psychedelic record that would work as an alternative score for the group's 2008 sci-fi B-movie Christmas on Mars.

The album was made in tandem with last year's collaborative outing Heady Fwends, the band mixing that album by day and recording The Terror by night. This, Coyne has said, lends the work its "sleepwalker's dimension", and one does get a sense of a band dreaming harder.

On You Lust and Be Free, A Way, beautiful, childlike melodies lurk beneath the sonic obfuscation and the record's thoughtful meditations on suffering, aloneness and letting go of what we can't control are worth persevering with.

Disquieting and enchanting by turns, The Terror has a strange magic.