Monday, September 8, 2014

Beyond B-town: King Gizzard and The Lizzard Wizzard

Probably the only time that I've ever found a worthwhile band through a Facebook 'you might like' link, KG+LW were my new favourite band from the moment I'd read their name. Then they put their whole discography for free. I downloaded the lot and decided that I'd listen to them all and give you an honest review of each one.

 Willoughby's Beach EP is The bands first release, and from the get go it's mental, blues rock that sounds a few sandwiches short of a picnic. They dabble in sounding a bit surf rock in places, which makes sense considering the title. Its definitely psychedelia, just not really psych in the normal sense. This record is not what you'd call a sonic exploration, in fact only 3 of the songs on it are over 3 minutes. It's all very loud and raw, not so much lo-fi as gritty and unpolished. much like 12 Bar Bruise. I don't think there has ever been such an apt title for a record as this. It's  psych' but a really heavy riffy kind of psych. 
These two records will probably go down really well with any fans of Ty Segall or Thee Oh Seas.

Float Along, Fill your lungs shows that King Gizzard and The Lizzard have had a big change of direction. It opens with Head on/Pill. Which is 15 minutes of swirling psychedelic noise featuring more sitar than any other record you'll hear all year. It's awesome. Its a huge step forward from the first two records. The band sound much more laid back, especially on acoustic tracks like 'God Is Calling me Back home'. Yet they still sound very rough round the edges.  For me the problem is that for me the first track is so amazing that the tracks that fill up the space between Head On/Pill and the title track feel like little more than interludes. 

Eyes Like The Sky is probably the bands masterpiece. it's completely different to any of the other records, as instead of being a handful of songs. It is a story, narrated by the writer and sound-tracked by the band. This tale of the wild west is surprisingly well crafted with many twists and turns, and strong, well developed characters. The story telling is dark and often brutal. The preacher is a particularly nasty character.  It feels more like a novel than a concept album. This is a hugely impressive album that demands repeat listens.

Oddments is by far my favourite, it starts off with a load of psychedelic noise, crazy crazy sounds. Alluda Majaka Mixes samples from old westerns with heavy drum beats, deep purple style Organ playing. its the sort of stuff that's made to get people into a trance. Yet its the song writing that really stands out. Hot Wax may sound like  hot wax being poured down your ears but its also a catchy tune. same goes for Stressin', while 'Work this Time  has been my song of the summer. it's a laid back floydish  trip-out that could only be conceived by stoned Australians. Best of all though is 'Vegemite'. A surprisingly catchy and very lo-fi tribute to the bands favourite condiment. The song is almost childish in its simplicity and it sounds gloriously out of tune. Its an anthem for Australians and stoners everywhere. Overall Oddments is a lovable record, its trippy without being pretentious, and a helluva a lot of fun.

Willoughby's Beach EP (2011) 7/10
12 Bar Bruise (2012) 7/10
Float Along, Fill your lungs (2013) 7/10
Eyes Like The Sky (2013) 9/10
Oddments (2014) 9/10

Sadly the download link has now closed. But you can buy Oddments and Float along, Fill Your Lungs as a double LP. The new album 'I'm In your Mind Fuzz' is out later this year.

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