Album Notes - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Typhoon

Dispatches from the Highlands

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Despite what the evidence suggests, I don't feel obligated to share every new release from these two artists. But when I enjoy them this much, I have no shame in doing so. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Typhoon are two of my favorite bands on the planet these days.

We'll start with the Gizz. Omnium Gatherum is their 20th(!) studio album in nine and a half years. Oh, and it's a double, clocking in at 80 minutes. The only comparison in their extensive catalog is Gumboot Soup, that fifth of five 2017 releases, and the resemblance is due to the two records containing a hodgepodge of musical styles, as opposed to the "this album will be this genre" approach they have taken throughout most of their career. Whether it's "Magenta Mountain" sounding like it could have been on Butterfly 3000, "Kepler-22b" (Sketches of Brunswick East), "Gaia" and "Predator X" (Infest the Rats' Nest), and on and on, Omnium Gatherum would come across as a collection of leftovers if the results weren't so intriguing. Of course, being who they are, the band couldn't resist tackling something new. In this case, hip hop. "Sadie Sorceress" makes you wonder what a full LP of Beastie Boys-inspired tunes would sound like. That also might be in the cards. Then there is the opener and first single, "The Dripping Tap," somehow both unique and a combination of previously explored sounds in an 18-minute prog suite that ranks among their best tracks, one sure to be a concert pleaser. Gizz overlord Stu Mackenzie says he thinks "the band is entering our 'jammy period.' It feels good." Yes, Stu, it does feel good.

Turning to one of the few genres the Aussies haven't attempted, the emotional brand of sweeping, majestic indie rock Typhoon has mastered is on display again. Underground Complex No. 1 is an eight-track EP, hardly longer than "The Dripping Tap," but these precious 23 minutes will reinforce your opinion of the Oregonians, whatever it may be. You know where I stand.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Omnium Gatherum

Typhoon - Underground Complex No. 1

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