Can The Flaming Lips Get Any Weirder?

Oklahoma Jam Band Return For First Record Without Miley At The Helm

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Man, those on-fire skin strips from the fine state of Oklahoma, what can't they do. A lot of people said a lot of very mean things about their collab with Miley Cyrus, pop star of our times, as close to a white Kanye as you can find in between the glitter and stylized feeling of music white people like. But damn, if it wasn't the catchiest piece Wayne and his band of cool people have put out since Yoshimi burped out an actual hit. "The kind of music these guys can fart out in their sleep," Will Bryant judged harshly at the time.

But, so what. "Puff the Magic Dragon," the sly Peter, Paul & Mary topical slice of marijuana pop, was "about a dragon and it's very sad and emotional," Conye told Rolling Stone on the press tour for their latest, Oczy Mlody. On it, among other things, Reggie Watts is rolled to deliver a deadpan monologue about unicorns: warning of the green-eyed variety of mystical beast, "they shit everywhere" Watts tells us. Dragons join shortly after on "The Castle," as do sticky spiders and ravenously hungry flowers. Bullfrogs can be heard ribbiting amid the dangerous clashing of gongs on a six-minute number called: "One Night While Hunting for Faeries and Witches and Wizards To Kill."

But is it any good? The last full length to officially bear the Lips name, 2013's The Terror managed to be the saddest chillwave album ever recorded ("Butterfly, How Long It Takes to Die," anyone?) and their longtime collaborator, Dave Fridmann gives Mlody a similar mix: each track bleeds onto each other like a DJ set delivered in the sweltering jungle, bullfrogs and all. But the big shadow hanging over all this jazz, some say, is Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, the ninety-minute slab of wax the band recorded with the "Party in the U.S.A" star and Mike WiLL Made-It, who's profile is bigger than God right now. I actually think "Space Boots" and "The Floyd Song" rank among the best Lips tracks in the past decade and even "BB Talk" is a fucking glorious post-Girls feminist anthem. But Cyrus, who just might have a very big 2017, stops by on Mlody briefly, gunning down a few verses on its electro-rocking closer "We A Family." But no worry, Conye and company keep the motif of dead animal melancholy flowing and even reappropriate "The Floyd Song" into the breathy piano pain of "Sunrise (Eyes of the Young)" on Mlody.

Wayne has also claimed that working with Mike WiLL turned him on that new thang called hip hop and Mlody provides beats galore, jam-packed with those frisky little noises that you can only really hear when you're high. The way Wayne and Fridmann use a beat is interesting: instead of using it to hammer a song together, they hang over Mlody like billowing sheets of canvas, covering its mess of clicking synths and glittering crescendos.

Oczy Mlody is named after words Wayne discovered in a Polish translation of an Erskine Caldwell short story collection and is out now!

Or watch a trippy video where Wayne looks like a Yeti!

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