Who: The Fire Note was very lucky to get a jump on story telling psych lords King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Coming from Melbourne, Australia this septet has had us captivated since their acclaimed release I’m In Your Mind Fuzz all the way to this point.
Sound: While this LP, Flying Microtonal Banana is a bit of an adventure for the band. Their typical sound carries influences from psych rock, garage rock, heavy metal, surf music, folk, and even some jazz.
TFN Final Take: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a very prolific group. Their latest Flying Microtonal Banana is going to be the first in a series of 4 to 5 albums released this year. Flying Microtonal Banana-if you couldn’t already tell-is the group experimenting with specially built and tuned microtonal instruments, particularly the 24-TET tuning. What’s the result? While it doesn’t push boundaries, it’s King Gizz’s grooviest albums yet. “Rattlesnake” is a near 8 minute exercise in groove repetition-it really helps that the hook is catchy. “Open Water” hit’s a menacing gallop that’s quite effective. “Sleep Drifter” gives a good Hindi, GOAT vibe with the burning desert sun riff and bongo drums. “Doom City” goes from crunchy swamp psych to an up tempo, urgent escape. “Nuclear Fusion” takes the cake as one of my favorite songs on the album. Not only is it mesmerizing and sexy but, it also has guitarist Joe Walker’s using a technique called Gregorian throat singing.
King Gizzard has always been adventurous and Flying Microtonal Banana is Gizz at their most-maybe even niche. If this is a glimpse into the future then I do enjoy it only because King Gizzard is one of the best things going not in just psych music but, music in general.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Website
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-Reviewed by Christopher Tahy