King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
⁣Infest The Rats' Nest


4.5
superb

Review

by hung0ver USER (13 Reviews)
August 17th, 2019 | 160 replies


Release Date: 08/16/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Blood Minestrone.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are one of the most bizarre bands around right now. They have 7 members, including two drummers, released 5 albums in 2017, and have explored a ridiculous range of genres, from bluegrass to psychedelic jazz to garage rock. It's fair to say that the band have never really paid any attention to what anyone else thinks they should doing, and Infest the Rats' Nest is no different. Lead single, 'Planet B', was dropped a few weeks before their previous album, Fishing For Fishies, and the violent stylistic difference between it and the band's discography sparked interest to say the least. King Gizzard had actually gone thrash metal.

A band like King Gizzard, ever a musical chameleon, could realistically be expected to put together a good effort at a metal record, but what the band offer on Infest the Rats Nest surpasses expectations on nearly every front. Opting for a typical thrash metal album length, the band's 9 tracks eclipse about 35 minutes of run time, but a lot happens across that fairly brief musical adventure. Lead singles 'Planet B', 'Self-Immolate' and 'Organ Farmer' set the tone for the record pretty well - rampant metal tracks that really wouldn't sound out of place being played in a sweaty basement in the late 80s. However, these tracks avoid the pitfalls encountered by many modern thrash bands seeking to resurrect a more classic, conventional thrash sound. King Gizz's eccentricities, such as the bizarre time signatures on 'Self-Immolate', or the ferocious "There is no Planet B" hook on the opener make for some genuinely engaging twists on a well worn formula, with the odder aspects of the band's writing approach shining through in lead guitar passages and percussion. These tracks feel fresh even though the base ideas at play here are nothing that groundbreaking, and offer a pummelling spine to the record to please even the snobbiest of metal fans.

The band don't shy away from playing with other genres across the LP either - 'Mars For The Rich', a track lambasting Elon Musk's bourgeois plans for space colonisation, features a groovy, hard rock-esque hook and chorus riff, providing a catchy base for one of the record's more amusing lyrical themes. Similarly, the low-key intro to 'Superbug' feels more conventionally rock-y, almost seeing King Gizz channelling Metallica's Black Album, before the song diverts into it's strange and almost droning, colossal chorus. The back end of the album is packed with absolute blinders - 'Venusian 1' and 'Venusian 2' are straightforward riff-packed monsters of tracks, the latter's bass driven riffing feeling more than a little Motorhead. 'Perihelion' is a meld of this bludgeoning thrash and the front end of the record's hard rocking swagger, featuring a chorus which feels just a little bit power metal. This choral diversion is a welcome bit of melody in a record that teeters on the edge of being a little one-note vocally, and makes for one of the most memorable moments in the back half of the album.

The closer, 'Hell', might just be the best track on the record though. There's a heavy hint of Slayer here, between the spiralling lead guitar riffs, and spacier passages that give way to some of the most furious percussive blasts to be found across the album's 9 tracks. The song fades at around the 2:20 mark, before a macabre guitar ostinato fires into a militaristic stomp, featuring some of the harshest vocals on the album and bringing the album to a crunching end.

This isn't an album without flaws though - there are points where it feels like the mixing lets down the excellent double bass pedal work going on underneath the gorgeous guitar tone that pervades the track listing. The vocals, for all the fun their James Hetfield pastiche brings, can be a little one note, and really could do with some more melodic variation to distinguish one track from the next. But crucially, what King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard do here is add yet another weapon to their stylistic arsenal, and with great aplomb. Thrash can be a hard genre to get right in a memorable way, but the band's eccentricities, lyrically, melodically and rhythmically, make Infest the Rats' Nest a fresh and engaging contribution to the genre. By not really playing by the rules, whilst borrowing the best of the genre's forefathers, King Gizz have crafted one of the year's most compelling metal records. It only remains to be seen which genre they decide to bastardise next.



Recent reviews by this author
Rough Hands Moral TerrorIDLES Joy as an Act of Resistance
Broken Teeth At Peace Amongst ChaosIDLES Brutalism
Code Orange The Hurt Will Go OnRun the Jewels Run the Jewels 2
user ratings (252)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4.5)
H1N1 was a flop...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Kompys2000
August 17th 2019


3143 Comments


This looks sick as hell, good review man!

keza
August 17th 2019


425 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review! This album fuckin rules. Probably their best since Nonagon.



For anyone who's a Budgie fan (*ahem* @Budgie), track 2 on this is basically a budgie track, and it's excellent.



Blizzink
August 17th 2019


114 Comments


Shit rips

Excited to see them again next Friday

Ashtiel
August 17th 2019


693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

can't get enough of that bridge on "Organ Farmer".

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
August 17th 2019


10669 Comments


Great review! I've been meaning to get into this band and this seems like the ideal jump off point.

Kole
August 17th 2019


269 Comments


it good

WhiteNoise
August 17th 2019


3646 Comments


Eh, this is alright but without sounding too harsh, this all sounds like “metal for kids who don’t listen to metal”

Like, why would I listen to Mars for the Rich when I could just throw on some Motörhead you know?

DDDeftoneDDD
August 17th 2019


7115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definetely can t keep up with these guys.

Digging: Genesis - Selling England by the Pound

WatchItExplode
August 17th 2019


7094 Comments


Closing tracks bring the thrash m/

DopeFiend
August 17th 2019


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

SUPERBUUUUG

GuilleAS
August 17th 2019


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really liked Hell and Venusian 1 great review!

InFlamesWeThrash666
August 17th 2019


9161 Comments


this is actually pretty cool

Digging: Atlantean Kodex - The Course of Empire

frozencarl
August 17th 2019


735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ZOOMER METAL



ZOOMER METAL

butt.
August 17th 2019


4766 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

“metal for kids who don’t like metal”

Yeah I kinda agree. It’s cool and all, but if an actual thrash band made an album like this, it would get shat all over

Djang0
August 17th 2019


410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I want to like this but the mixing feels so flat. Maybe I should give it some more spins. I’m honestly just waiting for King Gizzard’s inevitable Death Metal record

tigersbrokefree
August 17th 2019


252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thrash Gizzard!

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
August 17th 2019


7999 Comments


Can’t tell if I love or hate what I’ve heard from this

Great review tho, pos

Digging: Blood Cultures - Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2019


142 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

“metal for kids who don’t like metal” is the perfect description and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with that

Digging: JPEGMAFIA - All My Heroes Are Cornballs

WatchItExplode
August 18th 2019


7094 Comments


It's a lot of fun but it won't last

botulist
August 18th 2019


85 Comments


band are now the underwhelming diet dr. pepper of seven different genres, so honestly, an achievement in its own right



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy