King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
K.G.


4.0
excellent

Review

by While She Sleeps: [in the back] STAFF
February 4th, 2021 | 35 replies


Release Date: 11/20/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "the absolute mad lads"

So apparently King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released yet more music last November whilst us lot at sputnikmusic.com contrib/staff HQ were, I assume, still preoccupied with the band’s last 15(!) projects, such that we may have slightly forgotten to publish some pretty words about it (oops…). Fear not! Here are some words -- let their prettiness remain doubtful.

K.G., the spiritual successor to 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana, is a welcome trip back into the hazy realm of psych-rock that put Stu and co. on the map, with some added microtonal funny-business blended back into the fuzz for good measure. Retreating from their recent excursions into thrash a la Infest the Rats' Nest and blues a la Fishing for Fishies, Gizzard’s 16th LP feels far more familiar, slotting more nearly into their relentlessly growing discography than anything since Nonagon Infinity. Chuggy, cheery cuts such as “Automation” and “Oddlife” likely wouldn't have felt out of place on I’m in Your Mind Fuzz, nor would the blissed-the-fuck-out “Straws In The Wind” or “Honey” have stuck out on Quarters, but for the tracks’ reincorporation of microtonality into their sound. As trippy, drippy grooves slip and slide over one another in a tie dye wash of purple and orange, K.G. feels like a tentative return to home-base following the Aussie lads’ drive to innovate and obfuscate over the last 3 years, representing a respectful nod to their long-term fans who have stuck with them along their journey.

Regarding the aforementioned funny-business, Volume 2 of the ongoing Explorations into Microtonal Tuning series feels less like a mere proof of concept than Volume 1 did, forming a more realised and cohesive creative vision. As captivating as tunes like “Rattlesnake” were, Flying Microtonal Banana as a whole felt like an exercise in exploration, the band playing around with a new shiny thing and trying not to make too much of a mess. On K.G., by contrast, the integration of microtonality is seamless, acting as just another tool in KGLW’s now overflowing toolkit. The step away from the familiar that it facilitates elevates the lads latest outing, driving on the obscure, rhythmic energy of “Ontology'' whilst softening the already putty-like “Minimum Brain Size”. It adds to rather than detracts from the staple Gizzverse goodness splattered across K.G., an elusive example, perhaps, of restraint being applied to their ordinarily uninhibited approach to songcraft with great effect.

Inevitably, this facade of restraint doesn't last, and, to be honest, I wouldn't have had it any other way. However, it’s not its reliance on atypical tuning that launches K.G. completely off the rails, but the way it dives without warning into mismatched musical genres with inexplicable ease. “Intrasport” is, erm, a microtonal electronic funk jam that somehow gels with the psych-rock bangers that it sits beside, and then there’s “The Hungry Wolf of Fate” which - yes, you guessed it - tiptoes its way in the direction of doom metal (of course, naturally). For a project as overtly obtuse as K.G. sounds on paper - anyone up for some microtonal-psych-rock-funk-metal? hello? guys? guys?! - you’d think it would be less immediately listable than it is, but no; instead, K.G. grabs you by your ear flaps with two meaty hands and refuses to let go, swinging you around your living room like a Scotsman practicing his hammer throw. Perhaps it’s the way that the songs all neatly knit together that makes K.G. so replayable - each transitioning into the other, with the closer almost looping back into the opener Nonagon Infinity style - or simply the fact that Gizzard are getting better at channeling the disjointed hodgepodge of sounds that they’ve collected over the last decade into a compact, singular whole. I’m not sure but, to be honest, I don’t really care. Whatever the cause, K.G. is the most well-rounded and tightly-crafted creative endeavour that KGLW have put out in years and it remains a joy to listen to over and over and over again.

So apparently King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are rumoured to release yet more microtonal nonsense with L.W. (a.k.a. Vol.3) in the coming weeks, which no doubt we will also forget to talk about (please accept this premature oops by way of compensation) - but I mean, really, what is there left to say? The psych-rock legends continue to release quality project after quality project with no end in sight, such that it’s easy to take for granted just how absurd the continued rate and quality of their output really is. There’s no silly gimmick that really sets K.G. apart, the lads simply chugging along as usual - perhaps explaining the relative lack of attention that their latest release has received - yet it's precisely this lack of gimmickry that makes K.G. worth celebrating. It’s the careful distillation of everything that makes the goofy, zanzibar-gem-loving bois worth raving about; a blissful 40-minute joyride that should not be skipped by anyone with even a cursory interest in the Gizzverse. There may be nothing left to say, but that doesn't mean it should go unsaid.



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user ratings (209)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2021


7130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ive forgotten how to write good but here are some words you should check this if you haven't thanks

BlitzPhoenix98
February 4th 2021


196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally a review for this. Sweet.

Morningrise767
February 4th 2021


3071 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fun album, one of my favs of 2020

LeddSledd
February 4th 2021


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally a review for this [2]



Microtones n shit!

Digging: Coroner - No More Color

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2021


35686 Comments


Microtones in 2020

listened to half of this twice and got bored both times, but most of it was at least impressively smooth. nice nice rev

"the integration of microtonality is seamless, acting as just another tool in KGLW’s now overflowing toolkit"

generally agreed with this, with the major exception of the opener. felt like they were shoehorning microtones into the vague shape of otherwise generic and predictable melodies in an ultra-concerted boring motif ha caught u off guard way that i did not enjoy. picks up pretty quickly from there, thank goodness

Digging: Kero Kero Bonito - Civilisation II

LeddSledd
February 4th 2021


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and with that, I felt this was brought down somewhat a lack of good hooks resulting from microtonal abuse (i.e. Some of Us being really angular and twangy but not having much to latch onto like the several tracks preceding it)



In general, felt that Flying Microtonal Banana did this better but still a great album

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2021


7130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i found vol1 draggggged a lot more than this does tbh, and the microtonality was all that was really there to keep you hooked. this feels buttery smooth and delish and has loads more going on by comparison imho.

keaton_86
February 4th 2021


194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I found this super underwhelming the first time I listened to it but I went back a month later and really enjoyed it.

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2021


2919 Comments


hey shush your words are very pretty, this was a great read
i have disliked pretty much everything these guys have put out but i might give that new new record a shot once it comes out

Digging: Porter Robinson - Nurture

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 4th 2021


7817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

dude you know the best words

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2021


7130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh shush i only know like 4 of the words. < 3 you both.

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2021


1243 Comments


Stunning words, sleepy. Big fan of this in particular: K.G. grabs you by your ear flaps with two meaty hands and refuses to let go, swinging you around your living room like a Scotsman practicing his hammer throw.

Enjoyed the singles for this, yet to get round to it... Or the last two haha. I think full-prog is my favourite brand of gizz

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2021


24299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

My favorite of the 356 albums released by the band in the last year. Great rev Ben!

Digging: Arabrot - Norwegian Gothic

Pikazilla
February 5th 2021


16126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dewi, do a guided by voices discog run





Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2021


24299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh dear oh no.



I understood the reference and second, I don't like them much.

LeddSledd
February 5th 2021


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

unfortunate. this is like they're 6th best album

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2021


5424 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have a hard time getting into King Gizzard, but the microtonal stuff is great. I dig the subdued grooves here.

Digging: Wheel (FIN) - Resident Human

Gibleson
February 6th 2021


101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I like the way they incorporated microtonality on this record more than they did FMB. The songs are more varied and less same-y here, as good as a lot of the songs on FMB are.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2021


7130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed insomniac agreed gibleson

Pikazilla
February 6th 2021


16126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed asleepintheback agreed dewinged



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