Q: How can a band shock listeners after a decade of innovation? A: Find their sound.
It’s frick-wild that Australian psych freaks King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have been making music for ten years.
Despite being together for a longer time than the Beatles were, Gizzard still feels like a fresh, shiny face in rock music. Part of the reason for that shine is their constantly shifting style.
Last year they made a blistering thrash metal album called Infest the Rats Nest. In the same year, they made a cute, mellow dance record called Fishing for Fishies.
They’ve built their own instruments, made a fully acoustic album, made albums with jazz and jam influence, put out five records in one year, made audiobook hybrid albums, and made a feature length concert movie.
They’re hard to lock down.
But after ten years of concept albums and genre warping, the group has delivered an album summing up the more consistent elements of their sound.
They’ve returned to the instruments used on their trippy and excellent Flying Microtonal Banana record, using similar microtonal scales.
The opening track, K.G.L.W, has a very similar chord progression to Billabong Valley off Microtonal Banana.
Some Of Us has a groove reminiscent of songs like Crumbling Castle which come off polygondwanaland.
The track Instaport ventures into some of the electronic funk and dance territory they explored with their 2019 single Cyboogie, which appeared on Fishing for Fishies.
The penultimate song Honey combines the microtonal weirdness of Banana with the warm acoustic sound of Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, and the closing track The Hungry Wolf Of Fate has some of the Black Sabbath like, heavy metal influence heard on Rats Nest.
The instrumentation is very familiar, and the lyrics are frankly unremarkable. The environmentalist message in tracks like Straws in the Wind is handled a million times better in Rats Nest and Fishing for Fishies.
It’s a familiar album. Which is surprising for a band who usually brings listeners into unfamiliar territory.
However, It seems like it was the band’s intention to make an album definitive of their style. They named it K.G after their first two initials, and the opening track is the full name of their group: K.G.L.W
Releasing what is basically a self titled album ten years into your career is a weird move, but it makes sense for a band like K.G, who’s creative output hasn’t faltered yet.
If a band like AC/DC can get away with pumping out the same stadium rock for almost 50 years, a young rock outfit shouldn’t be expected to always freshen up.
This is a record you could give to a friend and say “start here.” And while they may not have delivered anything mind blowing on this album, musically or lyrically, the group has accomplished what they set out to do: made an album that’s unmistakably K.G.