The Flaming Lips – Oh My Gawd!!!… Thw a flaming Lips
To commemorate the thirty fifth anniversary of its release, Flaming Lips have recently reissued a beautifully sounding remastered version of their second studio album, “Oh My Gawd…”
Before the absurdly hooky, surprise hit “She Don’t Use Jelly,” a song about a girl that eats Vaseline sandwiches, before the emotive, orchestral indie anthems of “The Soft Bulletin,” before the trippy Beatles cover collaborations with Miley Cyrus, there was the bombastic, ramshackle, mind shattering explosiveness of “Oh My Gawd.”
Wayne Coyne, the frontman and prime force behind the Oklahoma based band, has referred to it as “some sort of no-talent, derivative, hillbillies-gone-punk version of The Who.”
If all you had heard was the album “Oh My Gawd” you might be compelled to agree.
For me, an anxious college freshman living in the Midwest in the late 80’s, it was like someone had tapped into my brain and filtered it out through the sounds of pummeling drums, crashing guitars and psychedelics inspired poetry that had me questioning everything in my life, including my own existence.
I first heard “Oh My Gawd” three years after it’s release in 1990, in the back of my friend Tom’s car.
It just so happened to be the early invasion of the Gulf War. This was the first time the US had engaged in formal military air strikes since Vietnam.
The opening track, “Everything’s Explodin’,” was an appt interpretation of what was going on inside and outside my head at the time.
The nearly nine and a half minute second track opus “One Billion Millionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning” sounds like The Replacements had a head on collision with Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of the Moon.”
To understand how revolutionary this album was, unlike the constant genre bending and crossover of today’s popular music, when it came to fashion, activities, and musical tastes, it helps to remember how segregated things were back then.
Pink Floyd was a band that guys that used to beat me up in high school listend to. It is indirectly one of the reasons I got into punk and alternative music to begin with. Outside of Money and the song off The Wall with the creepy kids choir I wasn’t really familiar with Pink Floyd’s legacy.
The trippy sonic explorations and esoteric lyricism combined with walls of bone snapping guitars gave me the permissions to explore more dynamic, experimental music, as well as drop my judgments upon a lot of great classic rock. I learned that my personal or political choices didn’t have to dictate my musical choices.
Being a fan for nearly thirty years, it’s satisfying to listen back on a band just starting to dabble in some of the sonic acrobatics that it would grow to master institutionalize.
I’m also happy to see the original album art has been fully restored in all of its disturbing, psychedelic glory!- Major Matt