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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard K.G. album cover
3.84 | 111 ratings | 3 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. K.G.L.W. (1:37)
2. Automation (3:30)
3. Minimum Brain Size (4:19)
4. Straws in the Wind (5:42)
5. Some of Us (3:53)
6. Ontology (3:58)
7. Intrasport (4:13)
8. Oddlife (4:58)
9. Honey (4:33)
10. The Hungry Wolf of Fate (5:08)

Total Time 41:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Stu Mackenzie / vocals (2,4-6,8-10), guitar (1,2,4-6,8-10), bass (1,2,4,6,8-10), percussion (1,2,4,8-10), keyboards (1,2,4,6,8,9), flute (1-4,6), sitar (1,3), synthesizer (7,8), clavinet (5-7), xylophone (5), violin (6), vibraphone (6), horns (6), Mellotron (7), clarinet (9), organ (9)
- Ambrose Kenny-Smith / vocals (4,6,8), harmonica (1-6,9), keyboards (4), percussion (5,8), synthesizer (2)
- Joey Walker / vocals (3,7), guitar (3,7), bass (3,9), juno (3), bağlama (3), synthesizer (7), Elektron Digitakt (7), percussion (7)
- Cook Craig / guitar (4-6,10), bass (5), piano (4,5,9), keyboards (4,5), synthesizer (5,8,10), sitar (4), percussion (5), clarinet (5), flute (5)
- Michael Cavanagh / drums (2-10), percussion (3,4,6,8,9)
- Lucas Harwood / bass (10), percussion (8)

- Bella Walker / backing vocals (3)

Releases information

Produced by Stu Mackenzie
Cover: Jason Galea

Label: Flightless (Australia), Self-released
Format: LP, CD, Digital
November 20, 2020

Thanks to tempest_77 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD K.G. ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Kempokid
4 stars With how incredibly prolific King Gizzard have been it really was only a matter of time before we'd get an album that would be more or less a sequel to one of their pre-existing sounds as opposed to attempting to fit their brand of psychedelic rock into yet another style. Of all that they could have chosen, I also definitely feel like the right choice was made with KG, attempting to redefine the microtonal sound of Flying Microtonal Banana, pushing forward one of their least inspired diversions while also capitalising on the fact that it was easily one of their most beloved albums. That's not to say that this really feels like a simple rehash either however, as KG represents the band fully embracing the potential of this sort of sound rather than feeling almost as if some songs could have just been tuned a bit differently and put on a different album instead. The commitment that KGATLW have to the style this time around, all without sacrificing their own identity ultimately culminates in an album that feels like one of their most complete experiments, even if a bit more time definitely could have been spent to even further flesh out this sound, though this issue could be said about most of the band's output anyway.

While I wouldn't go as far as to call the album a suite of sorts, one of the aspects I immediately noticed about KG is the way that it takes the approach of something like Nonagon Infinity or Polygondwanaland, where most of the tracks seamlessly lead into one another. There end up being a few benefits to this, the biggest one being that it gives this album a near-unmatched sense of momentum, with each song being similarly paced and simply going from one to another in a clean way that leaves little room for the album to feel as if it hits a standstill. While this can make things come off as rather unmemorable at first, there's a lot of repetition within that ends up serving to properly separate each track from the rest, with often very different tones and imagery being brought to the table to further reinforce this. The continuous pace and the way everything leads into one another also has the other benefit of providing more of a reason to tastefully repeat elements throughout and change things more gradually, which is certainly done here to great effect, as can be seen in the first 2 main songs, Automation and Minimum Brain Size. While these are undoubtedly different sounding in a lot of respects, the rhythm stays rather consistent between the two tracks and instead feels as if redefines this drumbeat into something that manages to be even more impressive. There's a more lonely, contemplative tone to Minimum Brain Size thanks to the subdued vocal performance, and the song as a whole feels very dynamic, whether it's due to the wider range of percussion being brought to the table, the central guitar riff that easily gets stuck in your head, or the way it has a lot more time dedicated to stripped back moment. The band also shows that they're still able to throw in a couple of excellent climactic conclusions even when attempting to retain a certain level of consistency, which can be seen with the way the last 30 seconds continuously introduce new layers of instrumentation and combine it with an intense bout of drumming that ties everything up very nicely.

The album also has a rather nice sense of variety to it while sticking closely to its core sound and approach that further fleshes this out and makes it feel like a very complete experience. You've got something like Straws in the Wind, which takes on a more folky sound complete with a really lovely vocal performance from Ambrose. This more than any other track on the album exemplifies one of my favourite elements of King Gizz, being able to make a song that's more or less just singing the song title over and over into something absolutely lovely, in this case using reverb to create a dreamy atmosphere and changing up the guitar melodies often enough to give the song a sense of progression. On the other side of things, you've got something like Intrasport, which is far more bombastic and takes on a quirkier idea almost as if it's just to see whether or not it will work at all. What you've got here is a distortion-laden dance track that manages to sound almost perfectly in place with the rest of the album's psyche rock approach, while also probably being the best song here. The vocal melodies perfectly complement the off- kilter, almost blaring melodic core that everything else structures itself around. with the synths being used in a rather unique way to further drive this in. The song also manages to be one of the most absurdly catchy moments in the band's career, so that's always a plus. The Hungry Wolf of Fate is another contender for best song on this album, and also follows a rather common path of making the fans just wish that they'd release a full doom metal album already, because that's what you've got here, and it's fantastic. While in some ways it definitely feels as if a bit too much is borrowed from Black Sabbath's Electric funeral, I still appreciate the way this has an almost occult feel to it, along with the fact that while it's not particularly nuanced or anything, it makes up for it by being really LOUD. While some might complain about the mixing on this song and the way it totally blows out the guitar volume, I can't help but really admire how intense it ends up being, basically becoming a wall by its climax and making for a rather good end to the album.

One thing I definitely think that is a bit lacking with the album is the fact that the band sound as if they can get a bit too comfortable revelling in their established formula, which leads to some rather underwhelming or unmemorable material in amongst the gold. Some of Us, Oddlife, and Honey to a lesser extent really embody this issue for me, as while there might be a couple of interesting isolated moments, they bring very little to the table that isn't done somewhere else on the album in a more effective way, making them feel a bit redundant, even though they're at least able to carry the general feel regardless, stopping them from feeling egregiously bad at the very least. I also feel that some songs kinda link up with one another in ways that could be considered a pretty big stretch, almost feeling as if the song suddenly will shift into a somewhat different idea near the end in order to facilitate the ability to smoothly transition from one song to the next. While this sometimes leads to some great moments, like the outro to Some Of Us almost falling into being a fast-paced, energetic jam session, I still can't help but feel that it can come off as a bit cheap at points and ultimately serves to weaken the listening experience on repeat listens.

Overall, despite a couple of issues that honestly could be pinpointed in a lot of the band's other albums as well, KG serves as a great revisiting of one of the band's earlier album sounds in a way that feels meaningful. The middle eastern influences present in the microtonal branches of their music feel more prominent and well-integrated into the album rather than merely being a bit of flavour to what doesn't do much to actually stand out in a huge way. Considering this is also essentially the first half of a double album, it works rather well as a self-contained listen that just feels very effective in what it attempts to do, and ends on a very satisfying note. At this point in time, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have made quite a lot of music, and even so, I'd still say that this stands near the top of what they've put out, and is easily my favourite out of the 3 microtonal albums that the band have created, definitely worth a listen.

Best tracks: Ontology, Intrasport, The Hungry Wolf of Fate

Weakest tracks: Some of Us, Oddlife

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It was pretty cool to be able to walk into my local record store and pick this one up along with a couple of live ones from this band. "K.G." is my first post 2017 studio recording from this group and man it's a good one. I'm in the store which isn't well lit and looking at the album cover and seeing just these archaic looking pillars with a yellow background and I'm thinking which one is this? I look at the spine "K.G. Explorations Into Microtonal Tuning Vol.2" and I laughed turning it back over and only seeing the yellow KG on the cover.

And here is where I need to applaud Jason Galea who does their art work. He's like a young Travis Smith(sorry Travis) with a great connection to this band and what they are about and all the things GIZZARD, so it's all about the details with this guy and he has plenty of amazing ideas. The back cover if you turn it upside down is the same cover but at night(black). My first spin of this had me saying this sounds like the songs they left off "Flying Microtonal Banana". Turns out I wasn't too far off as "Flying Microtonal Banana" is Vol.1 and "K.G." is vol.2 hence the banana yellow KG on the cover. And thankyou GIZZARD for the detailed liner notes, very appreciative.

While a lot of this sounds like "Flying Microtonal Banana" that one was fairly uniform while on here we get some variety which doesn't always work out in my opinion. I also miss the zurna, that Middle Eastern sounding instrument that was on Vol.1. Top five includes "Automation" a great sounding track with those mono-toned vocals or robotic if you will given the title. Amazing sound though especially the guitar, bass and drums. "Minimum Brain Size" is my favourite and Joey wrote it and he sings on his own compositions. Check out the beats and sitar early on as the bass then vocals join in. I love this song! The microtonal stuff is incredible on this one. Such a feel good piece.

"Some Of Us" surprised me with an actual instrumental Swedish(my music) vibe contrasted with the more intense vocal sections. "Intrasport" is disco yet I can tolerate it and even enjoy it. Yikes! Hey it's the only track with mellotron and it has clavinet as well. This is not a top five though. "Oddlife" is. Humerous lyrics and catchy sound of course. Relentless beats and great vocals as usual. Lots of energy and check out the guitar. "Honey" is my final top five and probably my second favourite. Love that little guitar melody that's repeated as laid back vocals join in. Beats and bass take over but vocals return quickly. Again such a feel good tune. Makes me happy! "You you taste like honey". "The Hungy Wolf Of Fate" I mention for the SABBATH vibe contrasted with those dark calm sections.

I'm falling for this band, no it's been done and I know "Polygondwanaland" is where I say I do.

Latest members reviews

4 stars King Gizzard returns off the back of two 2019 releases. One of which I loved a lot, Infest the Rats Nest, and Fishies for Fishies which I thought was just alright. As this album got hyped up and singles were dropping I started to get a bit nervous cause I found that I was a little lukewarm on th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2479965) | Posted by dougmcauliffe | Wednesday, November 25, 2020 | Review Permanlink


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