Album: The Flaming Lips
Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid 1983-1988; The Day They Shot A Hole In The Jesus Egg 1989-1991
Friday 27 September 2002
These two mammoth retrospectives of the Flaming Lips' early work – one a triple-disc set covering their first three albums, the other focusing on their pivotal In a Priest Driven Ambulance LP, swollen with demos and out-takes – confirm them as closet prog-rockers spurred to action by the American hardcore punk boom of the early Eighties. A bit like an American XTC, as it were, with a headful of songs about UFOs, drug culture, slacker inertia and religious scepticism, and a penchant for power-chord riffing, musique concrète collaging and psychedelic effects. It's a heady mix which reaches an apogée on the Jesus Egg set, the point at which future Mercury Rev frontman Jonathan Donahue joined the Oklahoma weirdos. To those who know the Lips only through this year's Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, these early works will sound a touch crude, but there's a philosophical inclination that, even on their 1986 debut Hear It Is, broached big questions with engaging straightforwardness: "Never really understood religions/Except it seems a good reason to kill/Everybody's got their own conceptions/And you know, they always will".
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