When The Beatles recorded Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band both studio technology and recreational drug-taking were in their relative infancy. Thirty-seven years on, Oklahoma psych legends The Flaming Lips, having previously remade Dark Side Of The Moon, have gathered a broad bunch of acts together to imagine what it might have been like if they’d had access to the sound-warping boxes and brain-mulching narcotics of 2014.
The answer, of course, is ‘gorgeously demented’. The title track gets electronically goblinised by the Lips before kicking into a garage fuzz chorus courtesy of My Morning Jacket and J Mascis. With A Little Help From My Friends ducks the age-old singing-out-of-key issue by utilising auto-tune, while Black Pus howls alternative lines like Roger Waters doing In The Flesh.
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is all psychedelic crashes and stoned vocals from, oh yes, Miley Cyrus. Fixing A Hole becomes a spectral sigh, She’s Leaving Home is given an amorphous laptop lustre and Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! is even more unsettling as an industrial monster mash. Even sweet old When I’m Sixty-Four is redone by sexually predatory androids. An inspired madman’s tribute./o:p