King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: K.G. (Flightless) - review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, January 28th, 2021  

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

K.G.

Flightless

Nov 25, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Ten years since their formation, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are back with yet another heavyweight entry into their ever-growing discography. Their sixteenth studio album, K.G., subtitled Explorations into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 2, fits comfortably into the Melbourne outfit’s oeuvre. 

K.G. is the closest thing to a self-titled album we’ll ever get from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. It’s a fair representation of the band, with their normal calling cards: syncopated rhythms, microtonal instruments that echo Arabic and Turkish influences, flutes, harmonica, and deep lyrics.

King Gizz have always been clever at pairing genre-bending song structures with meaningful lyrics, packed with philosophical motifs and activism shrouded in science fiction. K.G. certainly holds that trend. Tracks such as “Minimum Brain Size” and “Ontology” contain complex observations of human existence, but these revelations can be easily missed because of the songs’ captivating delivery.

Longtime fans of the Gizz can recognise certain similarities with 2017’s microtonal study, Flying Microtonal Banana—the first two singles from K.G., “Honey” and “Some of Us,” both feature microtonal instruments predominantly. But where the band’s past work differs from K.G. is in the risks the now six-piece continues to take. It wouldn’t be enough for K.G.’s 10 tracks to merely pick up where Banana left off. Instead, King Gizz continue to explore genres (disco, funk, house, and cinematic music, to name a few), lyrical content, and fan interaction. The fourth single, “Automation,” was accompanied by a “DIY project” for fans: the band supplied raw audio files and footage; in return, fans could remix the song and make their own music videos. The move echoed King Gizz’s ethos of lo-creativity, and gave the band’s loyal fanbase a chance to connect amidst a global pandemic. 

This gesture of community in the face of adversity is a typical King Gizz move. The band released six live albums in 2020 (the latest, their 2016 San Francisco show), with a portion of the profits going to Australian wildlife relief. They released a concert film, Chunky Shrapnel, in April. And at a time when everyone is stuck at home, facing uncertainty, grief, and loss, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have given something special to the world: the ability for fans to connect, and to (virtually) travel the world alongside the band’s diverse musical influences. (www.kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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