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POLYGONDWANALAND

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Polygondwanaland album cover
4.22 | 83 ratings | 4 reviews | 49% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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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 / ?

With:
- 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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KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Polygondwanaland ratings distribution


4.22
(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(49%)
49%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
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
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
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 Honorary Collaborator
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.

Latest members reviews

4 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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