Review Summary: With Mind Fuzz, King Gizzard showcase both sides of their sound in a flawless fashion. A perfect balance between face melting freak outs and laid back funky stoner grooves.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are an anomaly in today's music world. In a music world ruled by electronic DJs, King Gizzard stick out like a sore thumb. The seven members that come together to make Australia's most wild garage/psych rock band in the present moment is clearly steeped in a nostalgic feel for 60s psychedelia, motorik beats, and a very heady, fuzzed out sound. They also happen to be ridiculously prolific, having put out 10 records as of the time this review was written. On their first trip to the United States, the band gets some wind under their wing as they record their first album in the traditional way of having all the songs written and rehearsed thoroughly, and then recorded as a band in the studio. Their second album of 2014, I'm In Your Mind Fuzz is a masterpiece of warped psychedelic grooves. Riddled throughout this record are tape manipulations, phase shifts, and saturations. None of this gets in the way of the music, but greatly enhances it and places it in it's own trippy fantasy world.
The record starts off with a big bang, four drum stick clicks and you are immediately thrown into The Gizzards realm with the four part "I'm In Your Mind Fuzz" suite. This 12 minute epic is loaded to the brim with fuzzed out harmonicas, guitar freak outs, and the powerful bellowing of "WOOOO". The second part, "I'm Not In Your Mind" has the band stretching the jams out to dizzying levels in a middle eastern flavour. "Cellophane", the "hit" single from this album follows and pushes the psychedelic insanity even higher. By the time the final part is rocking, we have reached a highly climactic moment in the record, as this section sounds absolutely triumphant. That's how you start a record. Side A is rounded out with some much needed calm tracks to diffuse after having your brain fried for 12+ minutes. "Empty" uses some great floaty sounding keyboards, and some rather nihilistic lyrics. In fact, most of the lyrics of this album are of a pessimistic mood. From mind control, to fantasizing about the end of the world, the lyrics contrast with the very upbeat jams. "Hot Water" showcases some great flute and one of the more mellow grooves and highlights of this disc.
Side B begins with another face melting psychedelic epic, "Am I In Heaven?". This song falsely begins with some very pastoral guitars and flutes before quickly going back to the fuzzed freak outs. The tune reaches jaw dropping levels, and gets into some seriously ferocious grooves. After this intense peak of the musical trip, the only logical next step is to come down. The rest of the album is made up of heavenly slow jams. "Slow Jam 1" shows the more sedate, funkier sound of this final section of the record. "Satan Speeds Up" is a very interesting song with two juxtaposed parts, a very funky and almost sleazy sounding verse riff, and a super dreamy sounding chorus. The combination is unique and makes for a very cool listen. Finally, the album ends with "Her And I (Slow Jam 2)". A fantastic way to round out the record, this downright seductive groove jams on for over 8 minutes and has one of the most lovely and addicting choruses.
By balancing both sides of their sound so effectively in one cohesive package, King Gizzard have their first instant classic. Bringing the hippie idealism of the 60s with the musical ambitions of the 70s into the modern era of cold calculated electronics, I'm In Your Mind Fuzz has put King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on the map, and broke them out of their Australia bubble. They have transcended the Melbourne scene, and are making their mark on the musical world. It's truly wonderful to see a band such as this gain the momentum it has, and hopefully many, many more masterworks come out of their hard work.