After 2016’s never-ending ever-looping Nonagon Infinity, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard comes back in 2017 as if they never left; picking up the sound and continuing on Flying Microtonal Banana, except this time they’re winding it down.
Previously, King Giz took us down a path of endless destruction in the most sonically pleasing way; with excruciating energy of heavy riffs and the best of electronica that there can be in a psych-rock band. With Flying Microtonal Banana, “Rattlesnake”, picks up right where the last track of Nonagon Infinity left off; building momentum to continue on to a seven minute opener that keeps you on your toes. Doing what they do best, they transition into a surprising samba-like percussion, with a bossa-nova keys undertone, “Melting” eases you into a contagious dancing swing, with a catchy keys solo in its midst. Of course, its catchy and island-vibe-like sound isn’t the only highlight of this track; in its lyrical context, Stu Mackenzie talks global warming, and how we are destroying ourselves, our home, our “playground”, the toxicity of the air we breathe, and leaving our kids with nothing. Like any good psych-rock track, the platform to address current issues lives on in the genre.
The album then picks up “Open Water”, which can be considered to be parallel to “Melting” in its context, expressing mystery in the depths of bodies of water and the immensity of its unknown, all along a groovy, sitar-sounding guitar. Mackenzies vocals guides us through the elasticity of what can be considered one of their most experimental albums yet, hence the “microtonal” in the album’s title. Tracks like “Billabong Valley” stands out from their signature sounds with a different vocal mix and heavy west influence, most specifically when you hit the middle of the track and all of a sudden you feel as if you’re riding in a musical merry-go-round.
The album offers a “moment in time” vibe, slowing us down with sexy twangs and bringing us back up with a robotic muse that is mystical, magical and multi-dimensional. King Gizzard and the Lizard once again, delivers on a magic carpet leaving us in a literal whirlwind of awaiting what will come next.
RIYL: Ty Segall, Pond, Pup
Key Tracks: “Melting”, “Sleep Drifter”, “Doom City”