King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: The Silver Cord [Album Review]

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
The Silver Cord
KGLW [2023]

At this point in King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s career, it is a given that each new record will take you on a different musical journey. It is also a given that no genre is off-limits. Their extensive history and numerous outputs have seen the band dip back into previous genres they’ve toyed with before, but with The Silver Cord, King Gizzard dives into the world of electronic music. This record fully embraces its electronic focus, reminiscent of Kraftwerk, in contrast to the more worldly and softer synths that defined 2021’s Butterfly 3000.

From the album cover to the outer space synth elements that open “Theia,” the record may initially feel like a departure from the artist’s signature style of psych jams. However, you can instantly hear these tracks fitting into their next 3-hour marathon concert sets. The band presents a captivating soundscape with each composition, which can be experienced as seven independent tracks or as one continuous 28-minute beat. The strengths of The Silver Cord come from its feverish rave-like rush of energy. “Set” and “Swan Song” also carry an edge to them, reminiscent of Britain’s classic electronic group, The KLF, and “Swan Song” even includes some hints of industrial techno, evoking moments similar to KMFDM.

There are, of course, several moments that push King Gizzard’s boundaries like you haven’t heard much before. The title track possesses a lyrical intensity that is heightened by its distorted robotic vocals and an ear-catching melody. “Set” features a rapid-fire rap by Ambrose Kenny-Smith, maintaining the track’s adrenaline rush, which worked for me. It’s also important to note that The Silver Cord comes in two versions: a shorter 28-minute runtime and an extended mix of the record that runs 1 hour and 28 minutes. The extended mix of the record takes on a different life, as each track possesses its own free spirit.

The Silver Cord is indeed a bold musical exploration by King Gizzard, showcasing their versatility and creative evolution. While it may deviate from their usual style, the album’s cohesion and different versions make it a compelling listen. It might not appeal to everyone in the King Gizzard fanbase, but for those seeking innovative and thought-provoking music, it’s a grooving addition to their extensive catalog.

“Theia” / “Swan Song” / “Set”

The KLF / 808 State / Kraftwerk

PetroDragonic Apocalypse (2023) / Changes (2022) / Laminated Denim (2022) / Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava (2022) / Omnium Gatherum (2022) / Butterfly 3000 (2021) / L.W. (2021) / K.G. (2020) / Chunky Shrapnel (2020) / Infest The Rats’ Nest (2019) / Fishing For Fishies (2019) / Gumboot Soup (2017) / Polygondwanaland (2017) / Sketches Of Brunswick East (2017) / Murder Of The Universe (2017) / Flying Microtonal Banana (2017) / Nonagon Infinity (2016) / Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (2015) / Quarters (2015) / I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (2014)

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Christopher Anthony
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