King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (ATO) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Paper Mâché Dream Balloon


Nov 13, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

One of the most interesting aspects of Melbourne, Australia’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is how a seven-piece ensemble manages to produce such winning sounds by effortlessly employing restraint rather than overkill. And with Paper Mâché Dream Balloon being their seventh album (along with a couple of EPs) in less than five years, they have things down to a psych-pop/rock science.

If Paper Mâché is your introduction to the band, the light-rocking “Sense” might be a bit of a surprise, with a gentle sax circling like a seagull. “Bone,” however, sounds like a treasure from the Elephant 6 label vaults, with flute lines and trills leading a bouncy ‘60s vibe that could make Apples in Stereo green with envy.

By the time “Dirt” begins, the band’s personality comes into focus, with acoustic instruments including flute and harmonica on a sweet pop trip. When they later launch into a rocking moment on the title track, it’s still charmingly un-pushy, with singers seeing no need to wake the kittens, though drummer Michael Cavanagh seems now and then like he’s only barely containing the urge to give his kit a sound thrashing.

Breaking from the album’s general tone, “Trapdoor” is reminiscent of the nervous tension of They Might Be Giants, and they echo Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again” on “The Bitter Boogie,” with Ambrose Kenny Smith providing bluesy harmonica. But if the lyrics occasionally suggest a darker side below a giddy blast of sunshine, the irresistible sound of unison flute and guitar on “Time = Fate” will redirect your focus toward the light. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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