Two words: horror country.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s progression has been anything but linear. Across their 15 albums and EPs to date, they’ve covered everything from psychedelic jazz to thrash metal, truly earning their title of ‘experimental’. So, what’s next for a band that just can’t seem to stay in one genre for long?
When King Gizz formed in 2010, their sound rested comfortably within the category of lo-fi psychedelic garage-rock, though not for long. In 2013, the band released their second studio album, Eyes Like the Sky, a concept album described as a “cult western audiobook”. Narrated by Broderick Smith, frontman of Aussie rock outfit The Dingoes and father to Gizz’s own Ambrose Kenny Smith, Eyes Like the Sky paints a vast picture of the wild, wild west.
It was the first of many niche projects and totally left-of-field ideas. In 2015, the band released Quarters!, an album split into four tracks, each with a runtime of precisely ten minutes and ten seconds. The album also saw the band take a step away from their usual bombastic sound to explore the kind of meandering, extended jam-type melodies which would soon become a staple of their forever shifting repertoire.
In 2017, King Gizz tested themselves like never before by promising and delivering five albums in the space of 12 months. The first off the bat was Flying Microtonal Banana, named after the Turkish baglama-inspired, custom made microtonal guitar the album was centred around.
Its follow up, Murder of the Universe, focused on spoken word narrations, some featuring Leah Senior and others using an automated computer program. Among the 2017 releases came Sketches of Brunswick East, a collaborative jazz improvisational album with Mild High Club, drawing inspiration from Miles Davis’ 1960 Sketches of Spain album.
This year, King Gizz had a few more surprises up their sleeve, first releasing a blues album recorded with Gareth Liddiard before following up just a few months later with Infest the Rats’ Nest. A thrash metal epic, Infest the Rats’ Nest is a concept album detailing the dire state of our environment and the consequences of not taking action against climate change.
Having already explored a wide-reaching span of genres, one can’t help but wonder what direction King Gizz will take us on next. Let’s speculate.
King Gizz’s fascination with technology and obscure recording techniques has been a recurrent theme across their discography, so the notion of them dabbling in Nintendocore really isn’t that farfetched – they’ve even released their own video game. If this incredibly niche genre isn’t on your radar, the name should give you a pretty good indication as to what it involves. Basically, Nintendocore takes chiptune and video game music and fuses it with elements of hardcore punk, rock and heavy metal, resulting in a combination of raucous riffs and synth beats.
The harmonica has been a random, yet well-suited, part of King Gizz’s arsenal for some time now, rearing its head in their penultimate release. Now, imagine that alongside a jaw harp and perhaps a banjo. While it may be a little unrealistic to expect a full-blown honky tonk effort from King Gizz, something more obscure like horror country is totally up their alley.
While King Gizz thrive in heavy soundscapes, they certainly know their way around an upbeat bop. Not quite pop, the genre of nu-disco tends to focus more on repetitive melodic sections and ambience, as well as drum groove and ‘80s-inspired synth. We can totally see King Gizz throwing us a curveball in the shape of a nu-disco dance album.
In the past, King Gizz have revelled in building complex melodies – they are a seven-piece outfit with two drummers, after all – so it would be interesting to see them strip it all back for a lowercase album. This genre relies on extreme minimalistic ambience; it wants you to discover the sonic elements swirling among the mix, rather than draw your attention to them. This is pretty much the antithesis of King Gizz’s approach, but as we’ve seen so far, they never say never.
Check out our review of King Gizz’s Infest The Rats’ Nest here.