The Time Has Come To Shoot You Down…What A Sound
Lovely Sorts of Death Records
So here, as with the previous classic albums the group has instigated covering, Flaming Lips bands together with a bunch of acts (this time its HOTT MT, New Fumes, Spaceface, Foxygen, Blobs Descending From Heaven and Stardeath And White Dwarfs) to re-imagine The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut.
A big part of The Flaming Lips’ story is a contempt for music – and/or a love of folly – that is both at odds with and plays into the band’s prolific approach to recording/releasing; to spinning out side-projects, one-offs, EPs and art installation-type ephemera. They take is so seriously, but are they taking any of it seriously at all…?
Wayne Coyne has either joked or been dead serious about not digging The Stones Roses – about every song sounding the same. And so here he and his friends have a go at unwrapping the album, at re-riddling it.
If at first it seems impenetrable well so be it – the dirge styles might seem like sacrilege to Stone Roses fans, but you have to say that’s the one fan base that deserves a shake-up record like this.
I love Flaming Lips, Dots and New Fumes’ version of Elizabeth My Dear, more than I ever liked the original. Same with Peaking Lights’ Shoot You Down and Don’t Stop as renovated/removed by Stardeath And White Dwarfs.
But then, I can tell you all that and it wouldn’t mean a thing without telling you that I’ve never really been taken with the Stone Roses album. I’ve tried. And I don’t hate it. But I’ve never been able to unpack the hype. And I feel like that’s exactly what The Lips and co are doing here, unpacking the hype, doing away with it, and – of course – playing a bit of silly buggers.
So of course New Fumes’ slightly Flying Nun-esque working of I Am The Resurrection will promptly see a mugging in Manchester, a beating, a destruction. And the bands involved here should probably consider themselves lucky if it is just the one mugging. But I like this take on the track – for the folly, for the splatter-painting game of it all. Same with Spaceface’s version of Fools Gold, the song barely peeking in through a crayoned-on riff and what feels like Nigel Godrich’s leftover bits he didn’t sprinkle in and around everything on Ok Computer.
But then I don’t see it as any sort of travesty that She Bangs The Drums has here been all but turned into an arcade game soundtrack; the sort of ghastly series of bleeps and shenanigans I possibly should be offended by. But here I hear them as part of an artscape – a sincere pisstake, what for anyone else would be a giant mistake. And Waterfall one of few Stone Roses songs to almost carry – for its duration – some semblances of a tune, is here (of course!) stripped of that element. And in its hushed-cute delivery it’s sorta Stereolab/Broadcast-meets-Tegan & Sara. Again, I like it.
But this isn’t a mistake – or even if it is more importantly for The Flaming Lips it is actually just another thing to do. Another bit of fun. And made exclusive, rare and to be treasured, limited vinyl only – then it’ll appear everywhere, but only after. They know how to get – as well as take – the pound of flesh.
I like it all for that too. Heck, it just might get me listening to the original album again.