Review Summary: The dream is ending, and the peace sword doesn't seem so peaceful...
2013 has been a rather prolific year for The Flaming Lips: from the brooding The Terror
in April, to Wayne Coyne’s tour of midwestern stores promoting a reissue of the band’s debut EP, this year has not only graced the record-buying public with an album, but with an EP running at 36 minutes, essentially another LP. Peace Sword
, inspired by Orson Scott Card’s classic novel, Ender’s Game
, Peace Sword
is vaguely a concept album based on Card’s novel. Carrying over The Terror’s bleak, dystopian atmosphere, as well as extremely fragile, Peace Sword
plot of humanity nearing extinction wrought upon by an alien race very well.
, spanning six tracks, delivers some of the best music the Lips have put on tape. Peace Sword (Open Your Heart)
builds up with Coyne’s repetition of the refrain, and degrades from a symphonic celebration, to a powerful, depressive mood. Is the Black at the End Good
uses self-doubt as its theme, and to great effect, becoming the highlight of the EP in the process. If They Move, Shoot ‘Em
, one of the EP’s downcast tracks, features an attention-grabbing buildup with an equally compelling drum break.
Assassin Beetle - The Dream Is Ending
, the finale of the EP, builds up over its ten minute run time, beginning with synthesizers further painting the desolate world of Ender’s Game
, continuing with several lyrical and instrumental motifs from previous tracks, as well the mantra “The dream is ending” over the endless electronic drone growing ever louder.
With 36 minutes of original new music, Peace Sword
manages to impress and improve on any issues present on The Terror
. The fact that the Lips are churning stuff out of this quality, even thirty years on, is something to be lauded for years to come; nonetheless, Peace Sword
is something worth checking out, whether you’re a fan or not.