The Flaming Lips – 7 Skies H3
19th may 2014
In 2011, The Flaming Lips composed a 24 hour song, releasing thirteen copies on flash drives contained within real human skulls, a pretty common practice for popular rock groups and not something totally crazy, I can assure you. It felt like a symbol, as a 24 hour psychedelic piece of music is the only thing many would bother to fully experience if they had a 24 hour time limit on life and some acid on hand. Or they were students who always seem to have oodles of time to kill. For those who fit these requirements, listen to the raw rendition here. For the rest, a 2014 version of 7 Skies H3 now exists, acting as an instant gateway to the best parts of the 24 hour song skull.
An experiment such as this one creates images of dreaded jamming, random noises and repetition, until Wayne Coyne and his crew pass out from pure exhaustion, their bloody hands clutching sticks and picks. The 24 hour piece may have these moments, but the cut down release is surprisingly coherent. It feels like a natural journey of noise, lulling the listener into an alien world of ambient drones and distant vocals. Then the track ‘Riot In My Brain!!’ blows away the dream with it’s screams and feedback, a real wake up call before the spine tingling finale of ‘Can’t Let It Go’ brings forth the feeling of a dawn breaking from one incredibly chaotic night.
The Flaming Lips are the type of band who release 24 hour recordings within human skulls, or infuse a collaboration vinyl album with the collaborators blood. The madness doesn’t cover for a lack of talent though, and 7 Skies H3 showcases this perfectly as they combine experimentation with out of this world songwriting. Don’t let me out of the head just yet.