From the next pod along to Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips continue their voyage to the outer reaches of mutant indie-pop. Clouds Taste Metallic is like pop music made by alien-abductee rejects, continuing the scattershot blizzard of ideas and images that marked such earlier classics as Hit to Death in the Future Head and Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. There's a greater focus, however, to the demented melodic glee of tracks such as "They Punctured My Yolk" and "Guy Who Got a Headache and Accidentally Saves the World", which are at least as interesting as their titles.
In some respects, the Lips are like a Weezer that fell in with the wrong crowd at an early age: Wayne Coyne's vocals are just as fractured and vulnerable as Rivers Cuomo's, but his lyrical slant is more absurdist and the music decidedly more ambitious in its pursuit of the unusual. Not that they lack any of the more direct appeal of traditional pop - check the euphoric glory of "Placebo Headwound", whose ramshackle chassis boasts shiny pedal-steel accessories more appropriate to a luxury vehicle.
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