The Flaming Lips - Peace Sword EP

The Flaming Lips - Peace Sword EP

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Release Date: 29 October 2013

 

 

 

Even as they’ve entered their fourth decade of existence, the Flaming Lips have become more outrageously prolific with each passing year, as the expediency of the internet age—combined with the band’s inherent resourcefulness—has allowed them to document and release their every passing whim, and seemingly record with every artist they’ve ever posed with for a backstage festival selfie. The band’s unforgivably bleak 13th album, The Terror, had barely settled onto record shelves last April when we received word of an upcoming full-album tryst with Ke$ha, and even that’s since been superseded by a just-announced, imminent split-release with Tame Impala. We’re at the point now where the Lips’ proper records feel less like a cumulative elaboration of their interim activities than a respite from them.

 

But even for a band that’s experimented with every type of release format—from simultaneously played quadruple-CD sets to USB singles encased in foodstuffs to songs that require you to book a day off work to listen to—the Peace Sword EP holds a unique place among the Lips’ sprawling discography. The Lips have sporadically released EPs before, but—outside of their unrecognizably garage-grimed 1984 debut—they’ve usually taken the form of intra-band collaborations or an official single padded out with covers, demos, and other novelties (not to mention some canonical lost gems). But Peace Sword is something else: a holistic six-song release that, at 36 minutes, basically counts as the second full-length album the Flaming Lips have released in 2013.

 

In light of The Terror and its equally unnerving predecessor Embryonic, it’s been a while since we’ve heard the Lips sound so guilelessly heartfelt and anthemic as they do here; with its acoustic strums smothered in ersatz, synthetic orchestration, “Think Like a Machine, Not a Boy” plays like a “Do You Realize?” in lysergic slow motion, granting Coyne more time to savor “the beauty that surrounds me.”

 

The triumph of Peace Sword is not so much in the outcome, but the valiant battles fought along the way.

 

- Stuart Berman, Pitchfork (2013)