The Flaming Lips

Unconsciously Screamin'

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Even if it contained nothing but the sound of the run-off groove, the Unconsciously Screamin' 12" would be essential merely for its packaging, a unique hypno-graphic sleeve best likened to a disco ball pressed flat and made two-dimensional. It's maybe the coolest sleeve ever, but the music contained inside is hardly an afterthought -- "Unconsciously Screamin'" originates from In a Priest Driven Ambulance, the first truly classic Flaming Lips album, and the other three songs here ("Ma, I Didn't Notice," "Lucifer Rising," and "Let Me Be It") come from the same sessions, so this is one time where it's safe to judge a book by its cover. The title cut, a blistering salvo of white-noise crunch, is the indisputable highlight, but the B-sides are no small potatoes -- in particular, "Lucifer Rising" is psych-metal heavier than anything Blue Cheer ever imagined. [All the tracks later resurfaced on the reissue The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg.]

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