I have nothing against children’s stories, as long as they don’t involve some magical instrument or other. I do however have something against musicians using their decidedly non-magical instruments to make simpering gibberish like Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. Flaming Lips records are the musical equivalent of those inept posters of big-eyed kids you find in Athena sometimes – only the terminally weak-minded or the smirkingly ironic could find even a smidgen of value in them, everyone else just feels disgust and a vague pity. You will be unsurprised then to learn that rock critics love the band to death. Most Flaming Lips songs are of course the same – a rudimentary indie-pop tune gussied up by ‘achingly beautiful’ production (i.e. someone holding a button down on the synth) and the quavering vocals of an idiot man-child. The songs this weediest of all voices sings are either bad teenage sci-fi stories or dribbly platitudes – “Do you realise that everyone you know someday will die?” YES I DO you addled wretch, what I can’t comprehend is why you are adding to the pain of our too-brief lives with this nonsense? The title track of Yoshimi… is about a heroic Japanese girl who uses karate to battle evil robots. If you think this is cute, or quirky, or god forbid ‘visionary’, then you need to be gelded. If Wayne Coyne is a visionary so is Purple Ronnie. The Flaming Lips do at least get one thing right, their name – listening to them is precisely as pleasant as cystitis. Pass the cranberry juice.