In the Court of The Flaming Lips

In 2012, The Flaming Lips invited several bands to cover King Crimson‘s 1969 debut album, giving them complete access to their Oklahoma recording studio. The line-up included New Fumes, Linear Downfall, Spaceface, and Stardeath and White Dwarfs, a band Coyne’s nephew plays in.

Playing Hide and Seek with the Ghosts of Dawn is a complete deconstruction and reinterpretation of the King Crimson original. Each cover weaves the original melodies into those of the bands and their diverse palette of sound effects.

The 21st-Century Schizoid Man is a complete psycho created by Linear Downfall. The album opens with a dense megalomania of technological and mechanical sound effects in a ‘grungy,’ crumpled sound. During the highly rhythmic sections, however, the band gives a relaxed recitation of these sections compared to the original which was executed very precisely. Aside from that, the song retains its neurotic tendencies throughout its entirety.

New Fumes depict I Talk to the Wind in a tranquil, watery atmosphere removed from the ordinary world. Calmness remains before a ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘cosmic’ solo unfurls and gradually disappears into the quiet resolve.

All five bands contribute to give the mournful Epitaph a colorful repainting free and unrestrained in sound.

Spaceface open Moonchild with an abrasive guitar sounding as if it were being ripped. The song is full of immense energy and sound throughout before giving way to a pleasant, mantra-like instrumental with a watery guitar bringing to mind Pink Floyd‘s Echoes. If you listen to the lyrics, you’ll also find that the album’s name derives from a line in this song.
The more minimal In the Court of the Crimson King is surprisingly disappointing. Instead of a bombastic finish, Stardeath and White Dwarfs present stagnant vocal melodies on a repeat loop and song revivals here and there with the sudden appearance of a sound effect. The song had the potential to sound great and very grand, but the minimal approach didn’t work out and resulted in an underwhelming song lacking in originality.
Nearly each band impressively deconstructs the King Crimson original on Playing Hide and Seek… Dawn as they blend the main melodies into each of their individual styles to create a contemporary reworking of a progressive classic.