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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Single Review: The Flaming Lips - "The W.A.N.D."

The W.A.N.DThe Flaming Lips are a perfect example of a band that has undergone a continuous metamorphosis from loud, Post-Punk, Indie Rockers to masters of lush, multi-layered, Psychedelia. Over the last twenty plus years, The Lips have succeeded in their musical and creative evolution without estranging their true fans. “The W.A.N.D.” is a teaser, digital release from their highly-anticipated, upcoming full-length album, At War with the Mystics, which will be released on April 4, 2006, on Warner Bros.

For my first listen to “The W.A.N.D”, I decided to listen to it with my ear buds at reasonably loud volume to simulate the sonic environment of a live Lips show…if that’s possible. My ears were greeted by a mutated, analog delayed, sound fragment, accompanied shortly thereafter by a metronome, a clap track, then an ultra-distorted buzz saw of a guitar (knowing how The Flaming Lips roll, I suspected that this guitar and amplifier were specially modified to exist only on this track). During the opening seconds of the song, I had faith...the faith that The Flaming Lips would sonically stretch my mind without losing me. “The W.A.N.D.” was the characteristically enjoyable, auditory feast consistently delivered by The Lips. Adding a dose of socio-political commentary to the mix, lead Lip, Wayne Coyne sings, “Time after time those fanatical minds try to rule all the World. Telling us all it's THEM...who's in charge of it all…”. The Lips

I have had the pleasure of being in attendance at numerous Lips shows over the past 20 years and “The W.A.N.D.” easily evoked memories of standing in a music venue filled with smoke, decibels, and people… watching the Lips and feeling like I got “it”. One noticeable deficiency I noticed while listening to “The W.A.N.D.” is that the rest of the album was not available to complete the concept. This single is hopefully a part of a greater sublime musical masterpiece called At War with the Mystics from these fearless freaks.

The Flaming Lips 2002 Photo by J. Michelle Martin

For current info about the Flaming Lips visit:


-Matt "Clouds Taste Metallic" Largo


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