Under Cover: Flaming Lips Hypnotize Tame Impala
It’s safe to say that a fair amount of modern psychedelic bands have been influenced at some point by the Flaming Lips. After all, the band has been around for more than 30 years.
Wayne Coyne and company have always delighted in twisting their music into a variety of shapes, sizes and sounds — one moment basking in tradition, diving into the other end of the pool the next.
The Lips hit their stride with a string of albums starting with 1999’s ‘The Soft Bulletin,’ and running through 2002’s ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ and 2006’s ‘At War With the Mystics.’ And it’s from ‘Yoshimi’ that ’10s psychedelic wonder kids Tame Impala found ‘Are You a Hypnotist?,’ which they covered on their 2013 EP ‘Peace and Paranoia.’
On the EP, Tame Impala split the songs with the Lips themselves. Each band covered two of the other group’s tracks. (Tame Impala also dig their way through ‘Silver Trembling Hands,’ while the Lips take on ‘Elephant’ and ‘Runway, Houses, City, Clouds.’)
Tame Impala’s version of ‘Are You a Hypnotist?’ stays pretty true to the original, but the Australian psych rockers add some distinct colors to the mix. For starters, they strip away some of the more rounded corners found on the Lips version and roughen things up a bit.
They also add a certain fragility to the song, even though the rhythm, while still driving, is a bit more chaotic. You get a real sense of kindred spirits having found each other here. That’s the way things go in the psych-rock world.