King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Fishing for Fishies

ATO/Flightless

Apr 30, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


After a year-long "hiatus," King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard are back and stronger than ever, with their fourteenth album in half as many years. Immediately different from their past material (known to genre-bend from metal to jazz, often within one song), Fishing for Fishies strikes a balance between garage-blues "boogie" and remarkably deep lyrical content.

Just a quick glance at the album's nine track titles ("The Bird Song," "Plastic Boogie," "The Cruel Millenial," "Acarine") is enough to inform even the most casual King Gizz listener of the band's new thematic direction. And while the album's line-of-best-fit might be hard to pin down, the themes on it could be distilled down to the following: humans have a fractured and damaging relationship with nature, which we view through an incredibly limited lens.

This is displayed in the easy-going title track "Fishing for Fishies," which discusses preservation of fish in the most nonchalant way ("you ain't a God/don't hunt salmon, carp, or cod"). Later, "Plastic Boogie" takes a more direct approach ("death will come from plastic"). Both "The Bird Song" and "Real's Not Real" deal with perspective in very different ways, the former remarking on nature's inability to make sense of human constructions; the latter, heavier and sludgier, takes a more desperate, psychedelic view on the changing natural landscape. "Acarine," on the other hand, eventually slips into a drum and bass dance track à la Alan Parsonsan out of this world transition for a song about honeybee disease caused by dust mites.

In light of the more critical subject matter, Fishing for Fishies represents yet another face of the King Gizz outfit: equal parts heavy and lofty, light and dark. The music itself is sharp but not overtly so, the lyrics as astute as anything the band has written before. Instrumentally speaking, there are the usual harmonicas, the wall of drums and guitars, the sentient synthsbut new instruments are introduced on these tracks too: harps, upright pianos, strings, and deep bass, to name a few.

Watching this band evolve is pure joy. And with budding rumors of a second 2019 release, King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard seem to be continuing to push boundaries even further. (www.kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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