Having found an audience thanks to life-affirming anthems such as Do You Realise? and chaotic live shows rejoicing in confetti bombs, mega-balloons and dancing animals, the Flaming Lips have spent the past decade failing to pander to commerciality.
Now, fully detached from a major label for the first time since 1990, they’ve reached the outer limits, completely stripped away their happy-bunny exterior and reveal a throbbing psych-rock core of doom over an album of uncompromising noise, minimalism and long-form experimentation. It’s not pretty.
Those in search of bubblegum rock will find traces (Wayne Coyne’s voice is still in a heavenly register, and you can’t help but suspect drummer Kliph Scurlock is having the time of his life crashing through Look… The Sun Is Rising) but really this is a party where happiness is most definitely not on the guest list. It’s still awesome, of course, just don’t expect to enjoy it.