Review Summary: Wayne Coyne really means it this time.
The Flaming Lips have two modes of melody and Clouds Taste Metallic
sits central to their two-sided discography. As a follow-up, it lays calm foundations on the previous records of noise, fuzz, and any other messy noun that can accompany a picture of Wayne Coyne sporting a Sonic Youth t-shirt. And yet, looking at it from the future, it’s a raw release from the trilogy of synth-packed space rock which itself has been loosening slowly to the point of At War With The Mystics
– an album which, stripped down, is a second coming of the Lips’ unrealised opus.
Clouds Taste Metallic
is essentially the catchiest record the band have ever crafted: the anthems never stay as chilled and refined as they do in Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
, but instead they serve as proof that the Lips can be everything they want – poppy, weird and ridiculous – all at the same time. There’s no sight of a zoned out instrumental and nor any downtime to relax: this is simply the trio going thirteen songs with the spirit of their live sets in their heart. Without layers and layers and layers, the aptly titled “Guy Who Accidentally Gets a Headache and Saves The World” still becomes an all out guitar sing-along and is as loud as the Lips will commit to being. The album’s closer is more of the same intense insanity, with Coyne writing possibly the lamest cool song ever: the music crashes and thrashes together from pulsating drums and chimes, and the lyrics recognise realism and throw it all to the wall: “You hate your boss at your job/But in your dreams you can blow his head off/In your dreams show no mercy”. If this wasn’t the only motto for Zaireeka
onwards, I don’t know what was.
While it may as well be labelled their “guitar” album, taking into account the short ‘n’ sweet cameo appearances of all else (a complementary goof such as the horn intro of “This Here Giraffe” is to be expected), Clouds Taste Metallic
couldn’t be a prouder odd-one-out in a discography so conflicted by punk and pop. Even though Clouds Taste Metallic
’s three primary tools are a guitar, a drum kit and a set of crayons for the art, it’s also Wayne Coyne offering everything, and it’s all there: that is, it’s immature and it’s fun. What more could you want from a man who dresses up and scares children at Halloween?