Album Review: Deap Lips – Deap Lips

Albums can sometimes be like relationships. There are some that take a while to ease into, that you’re not sure about at first (maybe you find yourself looking elsewhere) and then suddenly it clicks and you think ‘oh, I get it now! This is what I was looking for all along.’

This is not one of those albums.

This is an album that, within two minutes of meeting you, grabs you by the lapels, sticks its tongue down your throat and drags you back to their place. Intense? Sure. But effective, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Against our expectations, it turns out we are that way inclined. All it took was the combination of Los Angeles duo Deap Vally & quirky indie hall-of-famers Flaming Lips. Together, they form Deap Lips and, as you might expect, the sound is truly unique. There is a Flaming Lips flavour to it, the slightly more left-field sound that you’ve come to expect from them is present on tracks like the catchily titled ‘One Thousand Sisters With Aluminium Foil Calculators’ (by the way, if that isn’t a Flaming Lips song title, we don’t know what is) and ‘Love is a Mind Control’. But there is also a punchier, punkish drive to other songs like the opening ‘Home Through Hell’ and latest single ‘Motherfuckers Got To Go’. As these two sounds blend with each other, the result is a cocktail that is constantly engaging and intriguing.

The album itself, as mentioned, grabs you immediately and doesn’t let you go. This isn’t just two bands messing around together and deciding to make some of their stuff public, this feels like a proper collaborative effort and a proper album at that. The fact that vocals are mostly provided by Deap Vally’s Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards (with the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne taking a backseat, vocally) means that this moves away from just being a Flaming Lips release featuring the LA based rock duo and into something properly new and exciting.

If nothing else, this record will bring more attention to Deap Lips’ back-catalogue (which includes the hilariously titled 2016 LP, Femejism), which can only be a good thing for them. As for the Flaming Lips, this record shows that their distinctive sound is adaptable, adoptable and strong enough to avoid dilution through collaboration. Hopefully, both parties will agree that this experiment has been a success and more records will come because we are now fully, and immediately, invested in this relationship.

James Beck

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