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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Polygondwanaland album cover
4.35 | 171 ratings | 9 reviews | 49% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Crumbling Castle (10:44)
2. Polygondwanaland (3:32)
3. The Castle in the Air (2:47)
4. Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet (3:33)
5. Inner Cell (3:55)
6. Loyalty (3:38)
7. Horology (2:52)
8. Tetrachromacy (3:30)
9. Searching... (3:03)
10. The Fourth Colour (6:12)

Total Time 43:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Stu Mackenzie / vocals, acoustic (2,4,8-10) & electric (1,2,4,7,8,10) guitars, bass (1,3-7,9), synths, Mellotron (2,4), flute (1-3,5-8), glass marimba (1), percussion (9), producer
- Joe Walker / acoustic (3,5) & electric (1,3,5-7,10) guitars, bass (1,2,4), synths (5-7,9,10), percussion (1-3,5,7,8,10), vocals (1-8,10)
- Cook Craig / guitar (1,8,10), synths (9,10)
- Ambrose Kenny-Smith / harmonica (1,3,8,10), vocals (8,10)
- Lucas Skinner / bass (10), synth (7)
- Michael Cavanagh / drums (1-8), percussion (1-3,8,10), glass marimba (1)
- Eric Moore / ?

- Leah Senior / spoken word (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Jason Galea

Digital album (2017)

CD Flightless ‎- FLT036CD (2018, Australia)

LP Flightless ‎- FLT036 (2018, Australia)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Polygondwanaland Music

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Polygondwanaland ratings distribution

(171 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(49%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Polygondwanaland reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Kempokid
4 stars King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is a band that's been in a constant state of eclecticism, each album taking on a sound that's always at least slightly different to past albums in terms of style, especially notable in their 5 album run of 2017, with a plethora of ideas, ranging from jazz rock to microtonal, krautrock influenced compositions. Polygondwanaland marks the band at their most proggy, employing heavy use of polyrhythms and tight interplay to create a complex, yet often calm and beautiful listening experience. As is standard with King Gizzard, this album is in many ways, a simplified, most accessible take on the style that is being performed, often heavily utilising repetition to create a psychedelic atmosphere, creating a prog album that manages to be deceptively complex while retaining the core identity of the band.

One of the aspects of this album that I really enjoy, it being the main thing that really got me to appreciate this album, is the structure of it. While initially, it seems like they merely put the epic at the front of the album followed by a collection of songs, each group of 3 songs past this point make up a suite with their own feel and lyrical themes. This all said, Crumbling Castle is nonetheless a clear highlight of the album and one of the best King Gizzard songs, period. The rhythmic focus of the album is immediately made clear with the intro of this song, yet the band's typical sense of melody is still in full force throughout, the track ebbing and flowing between soaring choruses and more low key, psychedelic moments, complete with incredible performances across the board, especially on drums. In typical fashion of the band, despite this being a prog epic, there is still a lot of repetition throughout the track, focusing less on making an explorative piece and instead turning to continuous building upon established elements until it all comes crashing down into an extremely noisy, heavy last couple of minutes. What I like about this track is how despite the fact that there are numerous instrumental passages throughout, it still remains an incredibly memorable song due to the motifs used throughout.

The next 3 tracks mark my favourite of the 3 suites on the album, being consistently atmospheric and relaxing, especially the absolutely perfect chorus. I love the transition from this first section into a callback to Murder of the Universe through the brief spoken word section, before this all melts away and leads into a section where everything gradually gets more intense with layers upon layers of guitars and synthesisers, constently driven by the excellent rhythm section, all before settling back down into the final third, which is very similar to the first part. Despite this constantly spacey atmosphere being the dominating force of the suite, it's also a clear example of a deceptively complex approach to writing, as once you actually properly focus in on the instrumentation, you really realise how much is going into this incredibly tight interplay between each member of the band. The next suite goes for a darker, almost occult sounding atmosphere, the song feeling far more rigid and tentative, which is executed very nicely, as the song is able to find a groove just enough to have a really great flow, especially when thinking of the amazing bassline of Loyalty, which is the best song on the album other than Crumbling Castle. I like the variety this brings to the table without ever breaking the cohesion of the album, and I feel as if it makes for a truly engaging experience.

The more psychedelic side of the band really shines in this final 3 tracks however, displaying the instrumental interplay to its full extent, with choruses that focus on keeping a constant pace, never seeming to let up, as synths fade in and out in initially small amounts while multiple vocal tracks overlap and the drumming switches between being extremely rigid and then all of a sudden freaks out. What I find most gratifying about this is how it never sounds out of place. The only time where anything sounds as if it's not an absolutely perfect fit for this album is the fnial track The Fourth Colour, which is an explosive psych rock song brimming with energy. While this may initially seem like an odd choice to close off the album, I believe that it works well to convey the joy that the protagonist of this story feels, and everything still sounds close enough to the bulk of the album that I don't even think it's a major problem.

I believe that out of all of King Gizzard's forays into different genres and styles, this is one of their most successful, as it perfectly encapsulates the genre, while maintaining the core identity of the band. Being a prog lover, I obviously don't mind if music becomes quite wanky or overly technical at points, but it's nonetheless refreshing to hear prog that's so accessible without resorting to sounding like cheesy pop or alternative rock. I'd definitely put this quite high up there in terms of what album one should first listen to if they want to get into the band.

Best tracks: Crumbling Castle, Polygondwanaland, Loyalty, The Fourth Colour

Weakest tracks: Inner Cell, Searching...

Verdict: Accessible, psychedelic prog that never sounds like it's merely prog-lite, instead carrying a serious punch when it needs to, but mostly sticking to an incredible atmosphere that just carries you away. Definitely one of the first places I'd send someone who enjoys prog if I want them to get into the band.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars A free album! And one of five releases by the band in 2017! Wow! I like the adventurousness and dedication these free spirits have to music and entertainment (and having fun)!

1. 'Crumbling Castle (10:44) a great groove with catchy melodies. BLACK SABBATH comes to mind. I'm most drawn to listen to the bass: he seems to be trying to fill spaces that no one else is. The multi-track drums and percussion are also fun to try to listen to. Would have liked to see a little more deviation from the original groove'there are a few teasing instances where members or spaces threaten to veer, but then everybody unfailingly returns to center 'at least until the slow-motion final 90 seconds. (17.75/20)

2. 'Polygondwanaland' (3:32) bass and drums open this one--the former playing up close and high on the fretboard. A lot of staccato note play in this one--from all instruments and vocalists--at least, until the mandolin and flute play in the third minute. (8.75/10)

3. 'The Castle In The Air' (2:47) opens with folk rock feel while Leah Senior does her poetry reading. Then shifts into KING CRIMSON-plays bluegrass feel. Interesting interlude! (4.25/5)

4. 'Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet' (3:33) moves the former song into more electric realms while staccato choir singing approach continues--kind of a continuous trip since the start of the second song. Space synths take over in the third minute instrumental section. (8.75/10)

5. 'Inner Cell' (3:55) more delicate instrumental play woven together for support of whispered choral vocals. If one were not a lyric-conscious listener (as I am not), this could get a little monotonous. (8.5/10)

6. 'Loyalty' (3:38) heavy synth arpeggio sequence flanging away while other instruments gradually join in to create a mellow groove for some mellow whispered multi-voiced vocals. A good lyric for toady's blind allegiances to 'party ideals.' (8.5/10)

7. 'Horology' (2:52) with staccato instrumentation, this one sounds like counting time off. More mostly-whispered or talked multi-voice lyrics. The chorus section is almost catchy. (4.25/5)

8. 'Tetrachromacy' (3:30) a slower-paced acoustic guitar-led weave over which choral voices sing their laid back lyric. At 1:15 the singing and drums get more forceful for a chorus. (8.5/10)

9. 'Searching...' (3:03) very eerie synths, glass-like percussives, and hand drums provide the backdrop for some simpler, also-eerie whispered singing (with long, sustained notes!). Definitely sets a mood. (8.75/10)

10. 'The Fourth Colour' (6:12) takes off from the previous song into GONG-like realms of Indian spiritualist chant music. Easily the most lively, complexly constructed song on the album (not to denigrate any of the intricate multi- instrumental weaves before--this one just has different 'sections' as opposed to a total jam feel). (9/10)

Total Time 43:46

B+/four stars; an excellent contribution to the space/psychedelia retro-cartography of progressive rock music.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars It's pretty crazy that this album has had 344 versions of it released to the public. 344! This was released in 2017 and the other four records they released that year have 19-25 versions of them. You can see this on Discogs and yes I scrolled through them thinking this must be a mistake. A very popular album and maybe their most favoured recording by the masses although 2016's "Nonagon Infinity" certainly rivals it on this site and on the RYM site where it is their highest rated followed by "I'm In Your Mind Fuzz" then this record and "Flying Microtonal Banana" which is still my favourite.

I feel the band really discovered something when they went to microtonal instruments. Not that this is new or anything but man they have perfected it. The abundance of crisp beats, twangs, pulses bouncing all over the place is pretty cool. On this record I really commend the band for the contrasts where we get all these things going on with urgent sometimes robotic vocals then they'll switch to a softer and warmer sound including the vocals that is just so uplifting.

"Polygondwanaland" is the first KING GIZZARD album that actually grew on me which is good because after two spins I'm scratching my head as to why everyone likes this thing. Yes this is their most proggy record and it took some time. There are two absolute classic GIZZARD tracks on here in "Crumbling Castle" and "Inner Cell". The first is 10 1/2 minutes long with repeated themes and so catchy. Funny how I hear a hint of Steven Wilson's voice on "Inner Cell". Such a relaxed start then the serious vocals join in. There's one of those uplifting moments before 1 1/2 minutes as the chorus arrives. So good!

The title track is another favourite as beats, guitar and bass do their thing in atmosphere before these robotic vocals arrive. This is contrasted with softer vocals then the chorus where it picks up a little. A cool tune with mellotron too. "The Castle In The Air" is another catchy piece with some guest spoken female words early on being replaced by male vocals as it all intensifies. More of the same on "Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet" and mellotron too. Just a killer piece with interesting vocal arrangements. Love this band! Man the final five songs kill and take this to 5 star territory. Take your pick? They are all great "Loyalty", "Horology", Tetrachromancy", "Searching..." and "The Fourth Colour". I adore the electronics to open "Loyalty", just sayin'.

There is a story here as one of the drummers Eric Moore did not play on it but is credited with "managment" on tracks 1-10. Hmmm. So right now I have "Flying Microtonal Banana", "Polygondwanaland", "I'm In Your Mind Fuzz" and "Nonagon Infinity" as my top four KING GIZZARD albums in that order and I need that fifth one which I know will happen.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Giving out an album for free is a daring move given the challenges bands face these days, but then again if you've put out five albums in a year making one of them a freebie perhaps is a good idea - after all, if you've flooded your discography with new material, new listeners might not know where to start. A free release helps break them through the decision paralysis.

Working on the basis of "the first taste is free" is also more than thematically appropriate for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who play a very psychedelic style of progressive space rock; there's plenty of gentler and more refined instrumental performances deep in here, but they're sharing the space with intense psychedelic workouts, pulsating motorik rhythms, and intricate vocal harmonies. The band draw from 1970s prog to modern electronic music when they put together their sonic toolkit, and every tool gets ample use here.

I'm not sure I want dozens and dozens of King Gizzard albums, but this has certainly left me more inclined to dip into their ample back catalogue.

Latest members reviews

5 stars King Gizzard is a fascinating band because of their many facets and prolific output, but this sheer amount of, and variety in their albums can also make it a bit difficult to decide where to start. After listening to some tracks off different albums on YouTube, I found myself impressed and/or in ... (read more)

Report this review (#2775352) | Posted by Stressed Cheese | Thursday, July 7, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Absolutely impressive album. Fantastic prog rock effort and every track is a journey with a welcoming and adventurous sound. How on earth did they manage to be so prolific with creating quality music? I do like the album very much as it goes in all kinds of directions while continuing to sound li ... (read more)

Report this review (#2735466) | Posted by WJA-K | Monday, April 4, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars To my ears this is the best KIng Gizzard there is. It's mixes progressive complexity with psychedelic repetitions and vocal melodies with a touch of Wyattesque quirkiness to receive something vigourous and very fresh which is an acomplishment of it's own these days. It's highly enjoyable listen ... (read more)

Report this review (#2598068) | Posted by Artik | Friday, October 1, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars King Gizzards Polygondwanaland to me, is one awesome album and quite notable for a few reasons. For one, I believe it explores new territories with a sweet somewhat ghosty sound as well as production choices that are very uniquely King Gizzard. On the other hand, it's an extremely popular modern ... (read more)

Report this review (#2453227) | Posted by dougmcauliffe | Friday, October 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Polygonwanaland is one of the best albums to come out of the last decade and is King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's most progressive album to date. It was released for free by the band and is definitely worth downloading. The album features ten pieces that seamlessly flow into one another. These tra ... (read more)

Report this review (#2303465) | Posted by Misenum | Thursday, January 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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