I will say that when I first started listening to The Terror, I had high hopes. The first two tracks took me to a weird place, a disturbing dream set within the congested atmosphere of a house party. ‘Look… The Sun Is Rising’ evokes that feeling of being the only introvert in a crowd of extroverts; an outcast in a festive gathering. You feel confused, like you should be having a good time but you’re not. It’s only until you’ve escaped from that dingy apartment that you feel like you’re starting to enjoy yourself, ‘Be Free, A Way’ is that street that you walk alone on, back to where you came from, or perhaps to some new unthought-of place. It’s a melancholy tune, one that makes this album anything worth listening-to… the only part of The Terror that I find remotely attractive. ‘Try To Explain’ also functions within that same vein, but it’s even more depressing.
Now we arrive at the mother-load: ‘You Lust’, a 13-minute long waste of time. Like after you’ve left that stupid party and gone for a ten-minute walk, you decide to take a cab home and get stuck in traffic. All you can do is watch the meter burn a hole in your wallet, and you’re reluctant to leave because the last time you tried to bailout on a jammed cab, you were verbally harassed for wasting the driver’s time. So you just sit there, waiting for the road to clear up; for this car to actually go somewhere. Ten years pass and you haven’t moved an inch. That is exactly what this song is like.
Everything after this point is almost not worth writing about. A lot of it is like trying to hear your old favorite songs being played from a radio on the other side of a car factory whose soundtrack is comprised of grinding noises and distorted screams– I’m thinking specifically of songs like ‘The Terror’ and ‘Always There In Our Hearts’.
I didn’t enjoy this album. There wasn’t a single track on it that was worth listening to more than once. It felt abrasive and obnoxious. Suffice to say, it was not something that I expected from The Flaming Lips. It puts me in an odd place because I wanted to like this album. When I think of The Flaming Lips, I remember those happy tunes that I used to listen to in the summertime, songs like, ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song’, ‘Fight Test’, and of course, ‘Do You Realize??’, but nothing like what’s on The Terror, which is truly a befitting name for this album, and I’m wondering if it’s on purpose; like it’s some kind of statement. What that statement might be: We can also make music that is sad and painful.
If my advice is worth anything, I’d say that The Terror is something worthy of being omitted from your library. Remember the good times, folks…4.6/10
*Previously Published on http://www.violentsuccess.com*