King Gizzard’s 16th album ‘K.G.’ is an epic mishmash of all the band’s prior achievements
20.11.2020

King Gizzard’s 16th album ‘K.G.’ is an epic mishmash of all the band’s prior achievements

Image by Jamie Wdziekonski
Words by Andrew Brassington

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 16th studio album is out now.

Prolific Melbourne genre-benders King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard decided to title their 16th studio album after their band. Eight years on from their debut album, and with so much material, you’d think this would perhaps mean they’re running out of ideas. Wrong.

Straight off the bat musically, K.G. sounds like a medieval fantasy, a concept they’ve not necessarily tackled before. Jesters roam the fairgrounds and knights go to duel. A fair maiden floats by, pouting as the horses fly past her, both riders fighting for her hand of marriage. Don’t be scared though, soon enough the second track and previously-released single ‘Automation’ takes the action from the fairground to a space-age moon base.

Lyrically, it tackles contemporary themes such as artificial intelligence and technology, and the song feels more at home alongside visuals from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Across K.G. there’s a fair share of classic King Gizz tropes at play though. This project appears connected the closest to 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana, where the players upgraded their instruments to access microtonal notes not commonly heard in Western music.

‘Ontology’ is a standout that reflects this traditional Middle Eastern feel, experimenting with melodies until it evolves into a cinematic cowboy masterpiece, somewhat akin to their 2013 LP Eyes Like The Sky.

‘Intrasport’ however is the most notable track on the album. It forms from some hell-bound synth pop nightmare, and bounces around through a disco-style drop.

Closing track ‘The Hungry Wolf Of Fate’ takes the crown for best song title on the record though, and moves from fuzzy stoner metal to sounds reminiscent of devilish childhood nursery rhymes.

While there are a lot of touchstones to previous releases, and sometimes excessive repetition perhaps indebted to the influence of krautrock, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard still manage to craft a record that is whole unto itself and worthy of a place alongside their classics.

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K.G. is out now via Flightless Records.

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