THE FLAMING LIPS : "Peace Sword EP"
This one snuck up on me. After a drought where The Flaming Lips would disappear for years, now, their release schedule is certifiably insane : turning the art of making music into fetished, incredibly limited, niche objects such as USB sticks buried in huge lumps of skull-shaped confectionary, unannounced limited runs of vinyl that you can only buy in one specific store, or a 24 hour, 3GB drone piece. They have deliberately distanced themselves from accessability, and left us with a discography that resembles a paint tin shot with a snipers rifle, scattered to the winds, impossible because of size to truly digest, and thus, this “Peace Sword” - their second major release of 2013 – is actually a 34 minute EP made of six songs recorded for the “Enders Game” film that were rejected by the producers. Not that it sounds like a bunch of rejects, more a mini album in its right. The starter “Open Your Heart” is a bright and breezy thing, and unlike the preceding “Terror”, this is a record where the sound is experimental, but not oppressive or unreasonably dark. The days of the hummable, pop thrill of “Yoshimi” are long gone, but wouldn't it be more depressing if the Flips actually went nowhere and explored nothing with their sound? Sure, headlining stadiums is not the next career move for this band now, but again, a prolific act that frequently issue new material that is challenging and thoughtful? That's rare, and useful.