The fifth album by the Flaming Lips
, released in August 1992 on Warner Brothers
. Subtitled "10 Solipsistic Soundtracks", it's for the most part a driving, exhilarating album, with blazing riffs and unexpected melodies. The band on this record consisted of Wayne Coyne (guitars and vocals), Jonathan Donahue (guitars and vocals, later of Mercury Rev
), Michael Ivins (bass), and Nathan Roberts (drums).
Talkin' 'bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever) (3:49) is loud and weird. The riff is a noisy affair, backed up by some kind of vocal distortion, but there is also a tune in there somewhere, and a lyric dealing with the issue of immortality - "Everyone wants to live forever / Thinking that it'd be a lot better..."
Hit Me Like You Did the First Time (3:40) is another dissonant song, with a distorted, treble-heavy riff and largely incomprehensible lyrics. It's probably best described as noise-pop.
The Sun (3:32) is much different from the first two. It sounds like they were seriously high on something when they recorded it - most of the vocals consist of long, drawn-out repetition of "The Sun goes over me". There are also trumpets and all manner of weird noises. It's probably one of those songs you can't really describe properly.
Felt Good to Burn (3:21) is another slow, drawn-out song, but this time more serious. The lyrics aren't chart pop stuff, with lines like "We borrowed a gun to get him, we were so pissed off / We shot his leg / He was a dick anyway" and "All summer long we refused to die / We just sucked and fucked and got high". Jonathan Donahue's voice is clearly discernible on this one, and his line "I wasn't waving goodbye, I was saying hello" resembles a lyric from a song he would later record with Mercury Rev.
Gingerale Afternoon (3:45) changes the mood again. It's a tuneful, up-tempo number that could almost be indie rock, complete with string quartet. It's the most conventional song on the album and provides a good contrast with the previous track.
Halloween on the Barbary Coast (5:42) is different again. A single, piercing riff alternates with a typically askew Lips melody, Coyne singing "Boy you still got shit for a brain / It's Halloween on the coast again".
The Magician vs. The Headache (3:12) is one of those songs the band once specialised in, a loud, driving pop-rock song torn apart by their taste for weirdness. The track ends with an appalling distorted guitar noise so piercing and confrontational you can barely stand it, maintained for 12 seconds before collapsing into the next song.
You Have to Be Joking (Autopsy of the Devil's Brain) (3:55) is a startling contrast to the noise that precedes it. It's a gentle, sad song, seemingly about the inhumanity of man. "You have to be kidding me / They wouldn't do those unspeakble things / Oh, my Jesus / It's worse than you think" sings Coyne, in a fragile melody, over painfully sad guitar, piano and whatever else the guys had in the studio. "Stood here in the morning / Got no science to explain / Seems to me that God and the Devil / Are both the same."
Frogs (4:26) changes the mood again, with another dissonant, distorted rock backing coupled with an almost childlike melody and lyrics - "I'm lookin' at the sky / I'm waitin' on the rain / I'm waitin' for the frogs to fall / Down on me."
Hold Your Head (4:24) is a slower number with an unhurried feel, reminiscent of Spiritualized. It's the kind of song that works best as an album closer, but it seems a bit boring after the excitement of the previous tracks and is probably the weakest song, though not by a great amount.
There is also an untitled eleventh track consisting simply of the noise from the end of "The Magician vs. The Headache", going on without a break for half an hour. It is absolutely unlistenable and non-musical and serves no function whatsoever