Review Summary: #Musicthatishardtotwerkto.A modern prog-rock meisterwerk.
These very words graced every copy of the new Electric Wurms EP, the first in potentially (and hopefully) many releases by this Flaming Lips side project. One trait also present on The Flaming Lips in recent years is the “weird and trippy” music and overall look, something they’ve been quite fond of, which is extremely evident on the cover and the sound of ”Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk“
. Consisting of Steven Drozd and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, and along with them, members of Linear Downfall and other associates of the band, the Wurms are close to being a dream team of psych-rockers. Over the course of a year, Drozd and friends had been building up anticipation for the once-mysterious project, constantly posting on Twitter with updates on the recordings. Soon after, short videos were released, giving the public an idea of what Electric Wurms are about. Maybe all this anticipation wasn’t the best idea for the Wurms, as the end result is a conglomeration of good ideas, bad ideas, and the typical oddball nonsense associated with The Flaming Lips.
Starting off with a chill, relaxed attitude, ”Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk”
leaves little to give to the listener on the terms of gaining their attention. ”I Could Only See Clouds”
overall represents the problems that plague this recording, with dull, uninspired riffs and drum rolls tinged with zany electronic effects that further bog down the quality of said track. ”Futuristic Hallucination”
and the following five tracks however, manage to make up for the weak opener, slowly builds up and efficiently working off each other. Starting off as a droning electronic piece inspired by early Pink Floyd that could use a bit more development, it segues into ”The Bat”
, a bassier
track that works off the droning electronics of the previous track, incorporating mellow vocals into the mix. ”Living”
, drenched in reverb and dominated by drum machines reminiscent of Silver Apples, continues the trippy, mellow vibe the EP has established from the start, although by now, the idea has been executed quite well. Ending the EP are the one-two punch covers, ”Transform!!!”
(Miles Davis, most notably from bits of the “Live-Evil” album) and ”Heart of the Sunrise”
(from Yes’ “Fragile”). The former, influenced by Davis’ acclaimed live album ”Live-Evil”
, takes the helm with a vibrant, rhythmic groove that injects a bit of life into the mellow atmosphere of ”Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk”
; the latter immediately returns to the mellow tone of the EP, and in three minutes, utterly botches a progressive rock classic; or completely nails down the idea and tone of the classic Yes masterwork, depending on your opinion of the reworking.
For all the hype Electric Wurms put forth, the final product falls just short of what was expected. But in the end, the collective delivers a product that manages to entice the listener in mellow, psychedelic (and somewhat prog-inspired) music that could’ve used a tad bit more working on. More development would’ve made this as “progressive” as Coyne and Drozd touted it to be in the many videos concerning the EP; and despite being worked on for over a year, this happens to be the somewhat underwhelming result (although it still proves a quality listen). Truly, this is music that is very, very difficult to shake the glutus maximus to.
Bravo, Electric Wurms.
"Heart of the Sunrise"