Flaming Lips Road Test Dark New Tunes From “Embryonic” in L.A.

August 18th, 2009 by Mikael Wood Leave a reply »

Photo: Shearer/WireImage

The Flaming Lips‘ Embryonic isn’t due out till October 13th, but last night at L.A.’s Greek Theatre, on the second date of their summer U.S. tour, the veteran Oklahoma City weirdoes debuted several tracks from the upcoming set, including “Convinced of the Hex,” one of three Embryonic cuts featured on a new digital EP available for free to anyone who purchases a ticket to a Lips show.

Rolling Stone has heard all of Embryonic, and we can report that it rules; it’s a dark, appealingly creepy return to the band’s early psych-punk days but with the lush production values that have defined more recent (and more commercially robust) efforts like The Soft Bulletin and At War with the Mystics. (The Flaming Lips recorded the album with longtime producer Dave Fridmann.) Anyone convinced that frontman Wayne Coyne and his bandmates have been breathing recycled air for the last few years should prepare to be surprised.

At the Greek they dropped the new stuff — such as “Silver Trembling Hands,” a sort of Krautrock-R&B slow jam — into the splashy multimedia spectacle familiar to anyone who’s caught these guys live over the last few years: During “Race for the Prize” Coyne wheeled over audience members’ heads in his clear plastic hamster ball, and the singer instructed fans to join him in a synchronized karate chop at various points throughout the title track from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which the band recast as a tinkly soft-rock ballad. Coyne dedicated a dreamy version of “Vein of Stars,” from Mystics, to Karen O (who puts in a guest appearance on Embyronic), and begged the crowd not to tweet about the Lips’ doing “Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Existential Fear,” as they’d promised folks at last month’s P...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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