Words About Music
Electric Würms “Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk”
It would be pretty difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that Oklahoma psych-rock band The Flaming Lips became just a bit too weird. Maybe it was in 2012 when they released their “Heady Fwends” album which featured a few Kesha collaborations. Maybe it was when they broke the world-record for most concerts played in a 24-hour period. Maybe it was when they started recording 24-hour long songs and releasing them in candy fetuses. Maybe the band has just always been this weird and the way they’re permeating pop culture by working with people like Miley Cyrus and Kesha and Erykah Badu has drawn the wrong kind of attention. I don’t know. All I know is that The Flaming Lips are clearly not of this planet. Why am I talking about The Flaming Lips when this is a review of some band called Electric Würms? Great question! Electric Würms is a Flaming Lips side-project featuring main Lips members Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd as well as all four members of Lips collaborators Linear Downfall. Electric Würms will make their next appearance on The Lips’ upcoming track-for-track “Sgt. Pepper’s” tribute “With a Little Help from My Fwends,” but for now what we have is a six-song EP called “Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk.” This roughly translates to “music that is difficult to twerk to.”
And difficult to twerk to this is. This half hour EP obviously takes most of its inspiration from classic German krautrock bands, specifically Can. The slow motorik drums and atmospheric noise point to several bands, from Spiritualized to Animal Collective, that Electric Würms could have drawn their sound from. It may be hard to believe, but this almost appears to be an outlet for Coyne and Drozd to make music that is too weird even for a Flaming Lips album. “Musik” is sparse and spooky where The Flaming Lips are usually colorful and welcoming, and it’s honestly a nice change of pace for a group of musicians I was almost starting to get tired of.
Electric Würms is obviously a very different project than anything The Flaming Lips have really done in recent years (though some of the songs on last year’s “The Terror” were noticeably dark) but that doesn’t make it excellent or all too bold. The Flaming Lips have such a long, impenetrable discography that they could pretty much do anything they want and not have their reputation too visibly shredded, but I don’t really see this side-project going anywhere. This EP doesn’t really present anything noteworthy or off-the-wall, and it’s not likely that I’ll even remember it next month. “Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk” is not terrible, and it’s nice to hear some original material from the band rather than another tribute album, but at the end of the day this is nothing more than a small side-project that makes a small blip in the main project’s discography.
If you enjoy classic psychedelic rock and krautrock then I suggest you give this EP a listen. It may be the first thing we hear from Wayne Coyne in a long time that doesn’t feature Miley Cyrus, so it’s best to check it out. There is some great music on here. “Transform!!!” is a groovy track with a Black Sabbath rhythm section and a Black Mother Super Rainbow synth meltdown. If anything, Coyne and Drozd are great at fusing the past with the present, and I hope to hear them do as much on their upcoming Beatles tribute. This Flaming Lips pop culture saturation is bordering on over-saturation, but maybe it’s for the best.
SCORE – 6.0
FAVORITE TRACKS – The Bat, Transform!!!, Heart of the Sunrise