Grammy award-winning The Flaming Lips have been churning out psychedelic rock albums since 1983. Their most recent effort, Oczy Mlody, was released this month following a handful of singles.
The record begins instrumentally with large reverb washes masking a minimal downtempo beat. However, the repetitive synth pattern doesn’t evolve into anything exciting, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Sunrise (Eyes of the Young), One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards to Kill, and Nigdy Nie (Never No) all contain sweet vocal melodies which are drowned out by a barrage of intensely experimental and heavily filtered keyboard sounds, leaving the songs without any real definition.
There Should Be Unicorns sums up the entirety of the record – simplistic drum loops offering no dynamic variation, as random bass notes and experimental bleeps jar with a distinctly pop vocal line. This all meanders aimlessly against a wall of reverb, ultimately going nowhere. Do Glowy and Galaxy I Sink take a step further into the abyss, with barely any attempt at melody or structure, deeming both instantly forgettable.
The album begins to pick up, albeit far too late, from The Castle onwards. Subtle chord progressions, bright xylophone patterns and more spacious mixes help the melancholic vocals sit nicely with the music.
While there are some interesting sounds dotted around, Oczy Mlody repeats the same introverted ideas for almost an hour, with no clarity or direction. Existing fans may feel disappointed, but newcomers will question how they’ve lasted this long.