King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
Omnium Gatherum


4.5
superb

Review

by SublimeSound USER (25 Reviews)
April 27th, 2022 | 131 replies


Release Date: 04/22/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the King Gizzard album we've all been waiting for: the synthesis of their decade long experimentation - complete with yet another genre defying stylistic shift.

After over ten years and twenty albums, after emerging from sweaty basements to festival headliner status, what does King Gizzard have left to prove?

Nothing.

There’s a freedom in that. The liberation of a strong foundation and a fanbase ready to appreciate just about any curveball you throw at them. A point which few self-produced indie bands reach: and yet here we are. With Omnium Gatherum we see King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at their most free. Their most inventive. Their most accomplished. Perhaps their most indulgent: but hell, at this point our boys from Melbourne have earned it.

Omnium Gatherum is the King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard album we’ve all been waiting for. Not because it answers the call of some unmet need. Nor does it offer extensions or conclusions to their Gizzverse canon. But it represents this band at their creative apex. Prior to Omnium Gatherum, each King Gizzard album had the character of an unhinged experiment – but now the band has pulled back the curtain, and in the thrilling 18 minute opener ‘The Dripping Tap’ they have proudly announced that those madcap experiments were each deliberate *lessons.* Lessons leading to this moment.

About halfway through the album’s opener I knew that this was the definitive culmination of all of their prior works. When ‘The Dripping Tap’ evolved from a Float Along inspired garage jam into a Butterfly-&-Fishies informed bluesy neo-psych bliss fest, I knew the band had truly arrived: at the conclusive final destination that nobody on this twisting and turning Road Train of pumped-out releases was expecting. It’s cunning synthesis of crushing psychedelia, breezy indie pop, pulse pounding metal, and serotonin-dipped grooves simply shouldn’t work as well as it does. And yet all of these disparate elements exist here in harmony: complimenting one another while achieving a real sense of cohesion in spite of the wild stylistic shifts that occur within the album’s mammoth two hour runtime.

A good contrast to Omnium Gatherum is 2017’s Gumboot Soup: a fine album, and a deliberate end-cap to that year’s 5 album run that put the band on the map. But it isn’t a classic: it was home to many great grooves but it’s haphazard tonal shifts divided their genre-crossing sound rather than uniting it, leading to a release that felt like a collection of B-sides more than a real album with it’s own identity.

Not so, here. Omnium Gatherum’s greatest achievement isn’t its length, its number of addictive grooves, or ample shredditude – but its cohesion. You can hear all of the lessons King Gizzard have learned over the years coalesce and come together into a glorious whole on this beast of an album. The slickly layered vocals & synths of Butterfly 3000 give the Nonagon-influenced motorkik beats a feeling of polish and richness that weren’t found in earlier releases. The unhinged eastern-tinged psychedelic stylings of Float Along and Oddments are given urgency and purpose by the tight, crunching shredding that feels pulled right from Infest The Rats Nest. And the band’s signature long form jams are now broken up by some of the slickest, tightest pop tunes ever to come out of Melbourne.

Just that alone would be enough. But King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard never rest on their laurels. Instead, they stretched their creative muscles even further, into yet another unexplored genre: Hip Hop. Yes, this monster of an album ventures into true Hip Hop experimentation several times throughout its runtime. From Kepler 22-b’s wickedly tight rhythms, to Sadie Sorceress’ plunderphonics foundations and genuinely banging rapped verses, the transition is as surprising as it is effortless. Who taught these psych rock nerds how to spit bars? How to spit bars so WELL? Much like the band’s detours into Jazz and Metal, this stylistic shift towards Hip Hop works brilliantly in spite of itself.

This is what it’s like to see a band in active evolution, folks. When sounds on a new album aren’t simple callbacks to prior efforts, but serve as deliberate(ly mis-matching) tools to bridge the gaps between and towards new sounds. That’s where the magic happens, and why so many of the best albums of the past 30 years have been genre chameleons – from Blood Sugar Sex Magik to The Soft Bulletin – variety is the mother of innovation. And the ability to find growth, rather than mere novelty, in merging two (or even three) genres at once is the father of an audiophile’s bliss.

So what happens when this approach is applied to a band that shifts gears from psych, to jazz, to punk, to metal, to hip hop seemingly overnight?

Something magnificent, that’s what.



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user ratings (215)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nrap
April 27th 2022


494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Banger

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2022


28562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Nice review. Top 3 for this band and probably their best.



The opener is insane.

Digging: Taj Mahal Travellers - July 15, 1972

Odal
April 27th 2022


1212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Opener is insane and definitely in the conversation for their best song. I could see this being my favorite Gizz album because there's so much variety and none of it really falls flat for me. It's definitely long, but there aren't a whole lot of obvious things I would cut or trim.



My favorite song is probably Evilest Man. What an incredible tune that is

WatchItExplode
April 27th 2022


9765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Evilest man and maybe a grim reaper? Were my initial favorites. Nice varied record though.

Steiner
April 28th 2022


76 Comments


This isn't Omnium Gatherum. Doh!

Digging: Eciton - The Autocatalytic Process

bigguytoo9
April 28th 2022


1275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The song Gaia is really great.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2022


7294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"complete with yet another genre defying stylistic shift" - More like: "complete with more genre defying stylistic shifts" Otherwise massive and superb review, nicely done!



> The song Gaia is really great.

Indeed. And Predator X too!

Storm In A Teacup
April 28th 2022


40557 Comments


Been waiting for this since Nonagon Infinity tbh

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2022


11437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice job man! Album rips mega hard m/

Piglet
April 28th 2022


8331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is very album indeed

Demon of the Fall
April 28th 2022


25389 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I might actually dig this one. Tactical comment deployed.

Digging: Imperial Triumphant - Spirit of Ecstasy

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2022


16913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

my favorite Gizz is Polygondwanaland, what will I think of this

SublimeSound
April 28th 2022


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You'll think the opening track is a work of genius, for starters.



Although many tracks through the middle of the album are far poppier than Poly, they're also broken up by some crushing celestial bangers.

SublimeSound
April 28th 2022


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just caught and amended those typos: thanks Steiner!



Pretty happy with how this turned out - its my third Gizz review that dropped right before my fourth live King Gizzard experience. I cannot wait to see The Dripping Tap live.

BitterJalapenoJr
April 28th 2022


98 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Superb review of a superb album. Best one they've put out since Polygondwanaland in my opinion and their second best overall. I can't believe something so diverse manages to acheive such cohesion with apparent ease.

MonumentsOfParalysis
April 28th 2022


621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review for what I already consider the band's best album to date. I did not anticipate this to be as good as it is!

keaton_86
April 28th 2022


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is way better than I thought it was gonna be. It's really easy to listen to the whole 80 minutes because each song is so different to the one that proceeded it. I actually think I like everyone song on it too.

tectactoe
April 29th 2022


5828 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Too ambitious for its own good tbh. Really put off by the handful of hip-hop tracks, and while I much prefer the stoner metal/rock jams, they still feel severely out of place on an album that otherwise sticks to the psych pop sandbox. The two opening tracks, "Presumptuous", and the two closers are highlights. Lots of fluff and mediocre stuff in between.

Zakusz
April 29th 2022


728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I feel like everything after that opener and magenta mountain is pretty whatever aside from a few highpoints (Gaia), might drop might rating if this wears off any further. Wish I liked this more

bloc
April 29th 2022


68814 Comments


This is easily one of their best albums (not that I've heard em all though)

Digging: Cheem - Guilty Pleasure



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