Review Summary: Kay Jee El Duboyoo
So apparently King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have released yet more
music and, as predicted 4 weeks ago by yours truly, there remains very little left to say about the Aussie emperors and their magical pet reptile that hasn't been said before. L.W.
is more of the same fuzzy, microtonal nonsense, pioneered on 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana
and perfected (arguably) on 2020’s K.G.
, and if you liked either of those albums then, chances are, you’ll like L.W.
Cool, I’m done. I can go home now, right Jom? Oh, really? That’s not enough? What? A glorified soundoff!? Fine ... have it your way.
was the Gizz bois’ revisiting their psych-rock roots - representing both a timely retreat from years of relentless exploration and a joyous celebration of everything the lads have sought to achieve over the last 10 years - then L.W.
is the victory lap that followed shortly thereafter. It seems there are no kingdoms left for the lads to conquer, the various treasure troves of psych, prog, thrash, doom, funk, blues, pop, rock AND
jazz having been well and truly ransacked at this point. As such, with their pockets overflowing with trinkets, Stu and co. finally appear able to kick back and relax. With their feet up on the couch and laurels well and truly rested upon, they’ve gifted us with L.W.
which (excepting its sister record) is undoubtedly the most comfortable
LP the group has released in quite some time.
Blissfully carefree cuts “Supreme Ascendency” and “Ataraxia” are an excellent case in point, conjured from the sundrenched bass lines and supple, wonky riffs that have long been the band’s bread and butter. Mirage-like tunes “O.N.E.” and “See Me” follow suit, their cyclical saundering similarly suited to a camel ride across your favourite desert - reminiscent, perhaps, of a late summer sunset, with both songs basking in pastel oranges and warm pinks. However, despite their unmistakable warmth and air of familiarity, L.W.’s
tunes still manage to sound fresh, utilising the same reliable Gizzard means but to satisfyingly distinct ends. As a result, each track slots snuggly into the Gizzverse, oozing the same quirky charm as the likes of “Head On/Pill” and “Gamma Knife” whilst continuing to benefit from welcome tweaks to the collective’s now decade-old formula.
As on K.G.
, microtonality has been grafted seamlessly onto L.W.’s
bones. Volume 3 of the Explorations into Microtonal Tuning
series lacks even the faintest whiff of the mild gimmickry present on Volume 1, the atypical
tuning now sounding oddly typical
for the oddball groove-smiths. Much as it’s hard to imagine Stu singing a different melody to that of his guitar, it’s also a struggle to picture trippy funk opener “If Not Now, Then When?” without that familiar twang of the unfamiliar, those seemingly off-key notes accenting the track's classic Gizz haze
. The same goes for both the energetic desert rocker “Static Electricity” and doomy-gloomy
closer "K.G.L.W.", the latter elevating its chugging High on Fire
-esque tendencies by reprising the cute microtonal twanging of K.G.’s
opener, bringing the double-album full circle with typical Gizzard flair.
Whilst primarily acting as the set up for a poorly conceived attempt at humour, I still meant what I said: it really does feel like there is little left to talk about when it comes to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Both their admirable songwriting chops and chameleonic approach to artistry have now been well documented, such that discourse on either topic tends to feel somewhat redundant. You’ll know by now if the Gizzverse is a venue you’re content to frequent, and I’m unlikely to convince you otherwise. If, however, you’d care for one more trip around their particular madhouse, check out L.W.
. There may be nothing left to say, but that doesn't mean it should go unsa-- --wait a minute…