The Flaming Lips replace Jonathan Donahue with a guy who lasted just this and one other album. Well, Donahue only played on two albums as well - I don't know why his replacement left, perhaps he was pushed.
For my money, the guitar and the overall sound of Transmissions
is just so less interesting than the previous album. But whilst the Lips have retreated as a band, it's not as simple as that, as Coyne continues to progress as a songwriter, that much is clear, but the sound of Transmissions
leaves a little to be desired.
This may sound a strange thing to say in relation to The Flaming Lips, but this album doesn't offer a single surprise. Not one. It does offer a bunch of good songs, but no surprises. Take the thick sludge guitar effect of "She Don't Use Jelly" - that effect was being far better employed by UK bands at the time, the likes of Ride and Catherine Wheel. God, dozens of others, literally.
is the sound of one man, Wayne Coyne, growing and growing and getting better and better, surrounded by a band who in a word, weren't. So it took me a while to write this review, due to thinking about what I was going to say - the album just doesn't interest me - it doesn't make me wanna stick it on again right after playing it already.
Still, Coyne is moving forwards. "Oh, My Pregnant Head" has some gorgeous melodies and sounds and feels; "Chewin' the Apple of Your Eye" is really getting there - the sound of Coyne - with some crackling sound effects and little else. No longer a garage or alternative post-punk band then, the sound of The Flaming Lips is becoming something else.
"Moth in the Incubator" is fantastic - one of the highlights of the set. But of the closing three songs, I only like one, the final track titled "Slow Nerve Action", thanks to its really heavy manipulated drum sound. Coyne sings a nice vocal melody on that too.Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews
)5th November 2017