Friday, April 26, 2013

Gummy Song Fetus EP -- The Flaming Lips -- Review

Gummy Song Fetus (EP)
Rating: 10
"It's going to be a sunny day"
Best Song: Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Existential Fear Part 2
Worst Song: Steven's Moonbow

        Oh boy, the Gummy Song Fetus! That just might be the greatest album title ever. Anyhow, yes, this is one of the 7 billion (read: 6 or 7) projects that The Flaming Lips released in 2011. Anyhow, this one consisted of a flash drive with three songs on it embedded in a gummy, bubblegum-flavored fetus.
       Because that makes sense. 
       This is the only one of these 2011 projects that I've been able to acquire, or at least that I've been able to acquire in a form that actually sounds good, so I figured I might as well take a look at it for our trip through the Lips discography.     
       The first song, "Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Existential Fear Part 2" is excellent, perfectly capturing the joyous yet scientific feel of its title. It starts out with a simple synth gurgle (rather reminiscent of Brian Eno and Cluster's "The Belldog"), and it gradually grows to include a fun drum beat, a triumphant, Velvet Underground-y organ (think "What Goes On"), and a cool guitar line. However, all of these layers are ever so slightly out of sync with each other, providing for a rather interesting song. Don't worry, it'll sound completely natural by the 3rd or 4th listen. The vocal melody here is also quite excellent.
        Following this we get the brief synth soundscape, "Steven's Moonbow". It's ambient, it sounds like something from Embryonic, and it's under a minute long. Let's move on.
         And so we come to the last track (I love reviewing three song albums), "Squishy Glass", which starts out with two minutes of synth drones......umm....yay...I guess. Anyway, following the long, monotonous drones that have no reason to exist unless they were following Eno's "The Great Pretender" (Obscure reference! Woo!), we come to the main body of the song. It consists of a fantastic bass line (I'm so shocked), an epic drum groove (from the F'Lips? No way!), and slightly cool vocals reminiscent of Kid A/Amnesiac-era Radiohead (okay, now that actually is a bit odd for Wayne). After a "verse" (can you really call it that?), we get a synthesized guitar freakout rather reminiscent of the second half of "Convinced of the Hex" from Embryonic, just slightly less awesome. However, the cascading synth sounds at the very end are really, really cool-sounding, I must say. 
        And that there's Gummy Song Fetus. It's only about 10 minutes, but hey, it's 10 minutes well-spent, I say! The only way to get it now is to illegally download it for free off the Internet, and it's most certainly worth that price. So, if you're into The F'Lips' newer material, check it out, if only for the fantastic "Enthusiasm Part 2".

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