Flaming Lips’ latest a hit

Ben Breier

The Flaming Lips release their 12th album, At War With the Mystics, on April 4. The album is wellworth the wait. PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. RECORDS

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Wayne Coyne is a busy, busy man.

The lead singer of The Flaming Lips has been working hard to crank out album after album ever since the band released its self-titled debut in 1985.

The group’s latest, At War With The Mystics – the Lips’ 12th album – is the band’s latest album since 2002’s critically acclaimed Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Coyne and company continue to innovate with their own unique brand of psychedelic tie-dye-infused alternative stylings.

The album opens up with the band’s first single, “Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” – a track that builds with an incessant chorus of “yeah yeah yeah” repeated in the background layered with a Coyne falsetto that transitions seamlessly into handclaps and meticulous guitar. By the time Coyne belts out, “With all of your power / what would you do?” in the song’s chorus, listeners should be unconsciously taping their feet to the song’s infallible rhythm.

And it’s that kind of kitschy dream pop that keeps the record enjoyable.

While previous efforts by The Flaming Lips feature songs that are experimental for the sake of being experimental, almost every song on Mystics manages to be addictive without traveling too far outside of the box.

The Flaming Lips

At War With the Mystics

Released on Warner Brothers Music

Stater rating (out of five): ????1/2

Coyne experiments with his vocals on “Free Radicals,” which contains a little hint of Scissor Sisters on top of a naked overdrive guitar. The track makes a good use of dead space, allowing the instrumentation to take center stage at all the appropriate places.

“Vein Of Stars” shows that the Lips are capable of doing something beautiful, too -flutes and acoustic guitars bring out the band’s softer side. “The W.A.N.D” is the album’s flagship track, as the song plays out like a thinking man’s acid trip and stands out more than any other song on the record.

While several bands would be hard-pressed to put out half-a-dozen solid albums, The Flaming Lips have produced double that number and are showing no signs of stepping down into mediocrity anytime soon. At War With the Mystics comes recommended without reservation.

Contact assistant ALL editor Ben Breier at b[email protected].