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KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Infest The Rats Nest

The planet is in trouble. Dire trouble. But fear not: Melbourne seven-piece King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return to save us all, this time armed only with blast beats, an arsenal of well-oiled guitars that are locked and loaded, and a desire to melt faces clean off.

Released just six months after the uplifting blues-rock boogie and deep electro explorations of Fishing For Fishes and drawing on the mid/late 1980s golden period of thrash metal - Metallica and Slayer, certainly, but also lesser-cited bands such as Exodus, Kreator and Overkill - Infest The Rats’ Nest sees a wholly unexpected creative detour into new sonic terrain.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard aren’t mere dabbling dilletantes either. Their love of this ferocious music runs deep, and was previously explored on 2017’s apocalyptic concept album Murder Of The Universe, hinted at during 2016’s award-winning Nonagon Infinity’s more bludgeoning moments and elsewhere in numerous hardcore psychedelic freak-outs in their back catalogue.

“In year 4 there was an older kid who was into Rammstein,” explains Stu of his early discover discovery of metal’s extremities. “I made friends with him and we put together a performance at our school assembly where we headbanged to ‘Du Hast’. I got whiplash, which I thought was pretty cool. That was my introduction to heavy metal, and soon Rammstein led to Metallica, Metallica led to Slayer, Slayer led to Kreator and Sodom. The German bands really kicked my ass and scared the hell out of me too. Later on, when I picked up a guitar I realised that shit was too hard to play, so I got into rock ‘n’ roll and garage. That was liberating.”

Infest The Rats’ Nest is the sound of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard scratching the thrash metal itch, fully and unequivocally. This is an album dripping with disdain and disgust for a planet consuming itself in a mass act of cannibalism which meets the fears and anxieties of a planet head on; here is a place where uncompromising music meets the concerns of contemporary cli-fi, that emerging movement of writing centred around ecological disaster and its repercussions.

After a punishing release and touring schedule of 2017-18, Infest The Rats’ Nest was recorded by a pared-down King Gizzard line-up. The band have always enjoyed a fluid approach to writing and recording and with guitarist Cook Craig and keyboardist/harmonic player Ambrose Kenny-Smith touring with their other band The Murlocs, bassist Lucas Skinner enjoying first-time fatherhood and drummer Eric Moore running the band’s own label Flightless (other bands they have released include Thee Oh Sees, Amyl And The Sniffers and Tropical Fuck Storm), they were down to a three-piece.

Infest The Rats’ Nest sees Stu and guitarist Joey Walker share all the guitar and bass parts, with (other drummer) Michael Cavanagh recording all the drums. This small set-up ensures tight arrangements and maximum velocity - and another curveball from this most unpredictable (yet consistent) of bands.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: King Gizz' go all thrash on their 15th album thus far, and what could easily be their 9th this year (it's not). Lots of hammer-on mayhem and huge powerchord chugs all over the place. It's a testament to their ability as songwriters that they can craft an homage as skilfully as this, and manage to maintain their own identity throughout.

\m/ -_- \m/

Right as the clock was striking midnight on the last day of the year, King Gizzard issued Gumboot Soup, an entirely new 11-song collection. "Greenhouse Heat Death" and "All Is Known" are microtonal jams that roil and boil like the songs on Flying Microtonal Banana, the metallic "The Great Chain of Being" has the proggy feel of Murder of the Universe, and a bunch of mellow tracks ("Superposition," "I'm Sleepin' In," "The Wheel") could have been warped a bit and slotted right into Sketches of Brunswick East. The rest of the songs are strong neo-psych that would have fit well on the grab bag that was Polygondwanaland; the soft rock "Beginner's Luck" would have been a highlight with its marshmallowy chorus and jabbing guitar solo, and the same goes for the almost funky "Down the Sink," which reveals a loose-limbed side the band doesn't often show. So yes, it's a collection of castoffs and almost-weres, but the amazing thing is that it sounds like a greatest-hits collection made up of songs that are fully realized and played with passion and weirdness, not a half-baked slag heap. In case anyone needed it, Gumboot Soup is yet more proof that King Gizzard were firing all year long on all five cylinders, plus about four more that most bands don't have, and the body of work they created is immensely, intensely, jaw-droppingly impressive.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Though I feel like I might be getting RSI from writing about King Giz, amazingly they've managed to smash out yet another killer LP, full of their trademark hooks and off-kilter psychedelic scree. Once again, a completely realised and cohesive collection comes from the KG camp.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Limited opaque orange coloured vinyl.

Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

Polygondwanaland - Heavenly Edition

    With an insanely prolific year, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard return with their twelfth album, Polygondwanaland to journey into the depths of the mind and the limits of the universe. The Australian 7-piece have made a name for themselves with a steady stream of new material since their inception 2010, blending everything surf rock, prog, soul, folk, metal, garage rock, and even elements of spoken word and cinematic presentation, creating a large buzz and rabid fanbase stretching far across the globe from their Melbourne roots. this album is full of the psychedelic rock outfit's jazz and groove laden jams.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: For all of you who missed out on the Piccadilly Records exclusive beer splattered vinyl version of this, their TWELFTH LP, then here it is brought to you by the wonderful Heavenly records on CD and standard LP. If you haven't heard it yet, then get on it, or they'll have another one out before you get chance.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: 180 gram black vinyl.

    Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

    Murder Of The Universe

    Lit by thunderclaps and lightning, Murder Of The Universe inhabits a sonic landscape of death, decay, ossification, fossilisation, rebirth. It is a place occupied by wandering shape-shifting beasts, bleeding skies, pools of blood, great fires and mushroom clouds; a planet rent asunder by conflict.

    A disorientating experience, the album hinges on three distinct sections that rise from larval beds, and whose lyrics should be carved in stone, squeezed from moss, discovered in ancient runes. And all the while a passing cast of characters imbue the tale with both human and non-human emotions.

    Snippets of earlier recordings breakthrough collection I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity resurface throughout like ghostly shadow form to haunt their latest sound. In years to come King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will be judged not by their separate albums, but by a body of work where themes, melodies, motifs, riffs and ideas resurface and recur, each album peeling back a layer of the onion to glimpse at past and future alike.

    “We’ve always thought of our albums as portals through which you can move from one to the other,” says Stu. “Or maybe each album is a bridge to the next part of the story. Songs sync together, records can be played in loops and past ideas recur or are reprised, and then woven into new textures. These ideas aren’t necessarily contrived though...sometimes these just happen.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Another brilliant outing from the King Giz fam. Psychedelic swirling guitars, echoing vocal melodies, impeccable percussive freak-outs and as ever, fist-pumping heavy af grooves.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard

    Nonagon Infinity

    Recording, releasing and touring a couple of albums in 18 months is beyond the realms of comprehensibility for most bands, but then King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard aren’t ‘most bands’. Forget a couple of albums, Friday April 29th 2016 marks the release of Nonagon Infinity, their fourth long-player for Heavenly Recordings in a little under a year and a half. Workshy they ain’t!

    After the acid-flecked cosmic jazz of Quarters and the hazy, pastoral, acoustic bliss of Paper Mache Dream Balloon, with Nonagon Infinity the Gizzard once again dive head-long into the gonzo freak-beat frenzy that mark both their Heavenly debut I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, and their perpetually in motion, double-drummer propelled live show.

    Recorded by Wayne Gordon, Paul Maybury, Michael Badger and Stu Mackenzie at Daptone Studios in Brooklyn, in keeping with their indefatigable spirit the 9 track album may be the world's first infinitely looping LP. Each of the nine, complex, blistering tracks on Nonagon Infinity seamlessly flows into the next, with the final song linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic mobius strip.


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