In Review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - K.G.
Not known for taking hiatuses or holding off on releasing music, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard certainly haven’t let a global pandemic get in the way of their plans. The Aussie psych-rockers have rolled out no less than six live albums and two full sets of demos in 2020, but last week’s release K.G. is the band’s first original LP release in almost 18 months. And though the band hark back to their more familiar sound on their sixteenth album, it’s by no means a chore to listen to - in fact, they’re covering more ground than ever ten years on from their conception.
King Gizz are known for exploring endless new territories in their music; last year’s LP Infest The Rat’s Nest was a hardcore thrash-metal endeavour, whilst 2017’s Sketches of Brunswick East saw the band experimenting in jazz. K.G. is (as stated in the album’s sub-heading) a 'Part Two' to Flying Microtonal Banana, also released in 2017. As expected, K.G. is heavy in microtonal tuning, most evident on ‘Honey’ and ‘Straws in the Wind’. Of course, some songs sound as if they could have been cut from Gizz albums past, but it’d be naive to expect the band to stick to one style throughout.
There’s a definite worldwide influence on K.G., with the microtonal tunings reminiscent of Eastern sounds whilst ‘Intrasport’, the album’s standout tune, could have been teleported straight from a Turkish nightclub. ‘The Hungry Wolf of Fate’ is equally as epic, with thrashing guitars and warped vocals bringing the album to a close in raucous fashion.
K.G. does cover old ground, there’s no denying that. But between the familiarity, the band undeniably explore new avenues, and their newer sounds reveal some of their most technical and enjoyable songs yet. There’s clearly no slowing King Gizz down, even in 2020 - and whilst there’s no predicting what they’ll do next, that’s half of the excitement.
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