Album #62: Deap Lips – Deap Lips

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Los Angeles, California/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • Best Track: There is Know Right There is Know Wrong

It can be a dangerous game when two artists come together for a release. If you’re a devoted fan of one or the other, your reaction is always likely to be “it’s alright, but not as good as their usual stuff”.

So perhaps this amalgamation of Deap Vally and The Flaming Lips is best suited to people like me, who quite like both bands without being fanatical about either. I lean more towards the raw garage rock of Deap Vally; there’s something I really like about no-nonsense guitar and drum duos (strange given that they normally omit the bass, which is my instrument of choice). The Flaming Lips are someone who I’ve heard the odd song by and enjoyed, but not sure I’ve ever heard an album.

Deap Lips (I’d have thought ‘Flaming Vally’ sounded better, but there you go) mixes this choppy lo-fi aesthetic with The Flaming Lips more polished alt-rock and occasional psychedelia, but in truth this self-titled album sees both acts lose a good slice of their sound and identity. Songs hover between the OK and the not very good. ‘Motherfuckers Got to Go’ is definitely an example of the later – possibly the most irritating song I’ve heard this year!

Not until final track ‘There is Know Right There is Know Wrong’ do we really get what I was hoping to hear from this project. Dark and edgy, yet atmospheric and exploratory, it’s one of the few occasions where the two bands’ styles complement rather than restrict one another.

Good on them for having a go, but this is a bit of a dud for me. There’s a real dilution of Deap Vally’s hard-edged riffs, which in turn add little to the melee and direction synonymous with The Flaming Lips.

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