King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Murder of the Universe

ATO

Jun 23, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Here's a quick recap: since 2012, Australian psych-punk gang King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have released nine albums. One was a spoken-word Western concept album. One featured four long tracks of deliberately equal length. One was a gentle, organic, '60s-esque folk album, and its follow-up was a nine-track descent into hell whose tracks looped endlessly together into one. Their new album, Murder of the Universe, is the second of five planned albums for 2017, and after hearing it, one thing is clear about this band. The only thing more thrilling than the relentless, crazy ideas they tackle is the excitement and ease with which they pull them off. Murder of the Universe is another near-perfect punk concept album, a trio of short sci-fi vignettes that rock with fury and hilarity.

The best thing about Murder of the Universe is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. No kidding, though: if you can't handle copious, extremely detailed descriptions of puke, you'd best stay away from the final third of this album. It's the tale of Han-Tyumi, the Confused Cyborg who plugs himself into a barf machine and inadvertently destroys the universe with an exponentially expanding mass of vomit. And it's really not much more bonkers than the first two movements, "The Tale of the Altered Beast" and "The Lord of Lightning Vs. Balrog." All of these stories feature both ridiculously colorful sci-fi imagery and thoughtful implications about humanity's impact on the world.

Musically, Murder of the Universe is a rollicking psych-punk opera whose tracks blend together similar to last year's Nonagon Infinity. In fact, both that album and 2014's I'm in Your Mind Fuzz are directly quoted in places on this album, placing it in somewhat of a shared "universe" among them. Prepare for all the fiery guitar solos, vocal howls and whoops, and the ever-present double-drummer attack and honking harmonica you could ever need. Overall, Murder of the Universe is an audacious, wild masterwork by a band who can never rest. (www.kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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