Album Notes - King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - K.G

Dispatches from the Highlands

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Three very, very, very long years ago, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard first appeared in this space with Flying Microtonal Banana, the initial offering of the five studio albums the Aussie septet would go on to release in 2017. If you think they've been quiet since then, well, I guess you consider two more studio LPs in 2019, five live albums in 2020, a 28-track collection of demos, plus a brilliant, off-kilter yet on-point documentary of last year's European tour to be Stu Mackenzie and Co. taking it easy. Hell, to them it might be.

Only in the Gizzverse does 19 months seem like an eternity for new tunes. Perhaps the more startling revelation: musically, they've been here before. For a band so driven and borderline obnoxiously focused on separating each project, genre-wise, from its predecessor, K.G., their 16th studio release (since 2012 mind you) is as much a welcome return to 2017 as it is a shock that the band dug into a bag they've already fully explored. While rumors have long floated that there would be a Flying Microtonal Banana Part 2, it's here and now on an album named after one of the most legendary power forwards in NBA history. OK, maybe not, but as The Big Ticket himself once said, you never know.

K.G. is familiar territory for the Melbournians, now a sextet after the recent departure of second drummer Eric Moore. Following the stylistically new, if uneven, approaches of last year's boogie blues on Fishing for Fishies and thrash metal of Infest the Rats Nest, it's a breath of fresh air to return to sounds previously conquered, especially when they result in this level of quality. Again utilizing microtonally-tuned instruments, the Gizz's Middle-Eastern infused psychedelic soundscapes seem to come more naturally than other recent excursions. For a career that has unfolded in a jukebox-like fashion, I, for one, am happy to have at least one repeat.

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