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The weird and wonderful breath of fresh air blows from Australia again, as the psychedelic King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are set to release their fifteenth album on August 16. To say they are a busy and talented bunch is an understatement, as the band has released some of the most interesting and genre-fused albums of the last decade. At times reminiscent of the late Frank Zappa certainly in terms of output and diversity.
Their upcoming album Infest the Rats’ Nest sees a more hardcore and nostalgic approach to their sound, certainly with a foothold in the eighties, and that early noise of thrash metal. It is a further advancement from their last album, released only in April this year Fishing for Fishies was a more cutting edge, proto-pysch affair. Which may surprise some listeners but King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are stylish in whatever approach they take, and this is no exception.
Infest the Rats’ Nest is a conceptual body of work, taking a thick slice at the deteriorating ecosystem with a rare stark warning of the imminent catastrophe to the planet. Here the storyline tells of how mankind is forced to flee earth for another planet, “Planet B”, the opening track which sets the scene surrounding that adventure. And it kicks like an atomic attack of old-school shredding, a drum opening before the collision of guitars kick in. Think 1985/86 Metallica, Megadeth with a sprinkle of Motorhead for good measure. This ain’t stoner rock, it is a war machine of impressive quality.
At times an overpowering NWOBHM leaks into the frame, such as the authentic head banger “Mars for the Rich”. The double kick drumming of Michael Cavanagh is the winner within the mix, nasty, and firing with intensity. An example of this is “Organ Farmer*, a complete, dominating overload of noise. Although in fairness Stu Mackenzie does a standout job of growling and riffing alongside Cook Craig. Maybe the stripped back band sound, as full lineup is not present on this recording, allows the basic four to flex muscle in this direction. The riffing is savage, switching from out of control locomotive style to staggering like a wounded beast as on “Superbug”. “Self Immolate” is a death howl, twisting into some of the finest doom metal you are likely to hear this year, they simply blow away the competition.
In all Infest the Rats’ Nest is tastefully executed, and played with a confident, conviction as not to fall into humorous territory. The diversity and fearless nature of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is commendable, it doesn’t sound like a King Gizz record, nor does it sound like their last release, and that in itself is a talent which is hard to nail down. This release will not lose them any fans it will simply gain them more.
2.“Mars for the Rich“
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