Album Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard -‘Flying Microtonal Banana’


Release Date: 24/02/17

Running Length: 41:53

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Label: Flightless Records








Knowing their ability to put out quality releases on a hugely consistent basis and after all the albums success and critical acclaim, it’s easy to see how King Gizzard could have just put out Nonagon Infinity pt. 2. However this Melbourne seven piece’s identity is crafted by hard work and an expansive mind set; to them there is too much of the musical world to ingest to remain grounded in safe zones. This time around they shunt standard Western instrumental tuning for microtonality, opening up different scales and tonal sequences to give the album a distinctly foreign, Middle Eastern feel. As a testament to the groups adept songwriting capabilities the record still sounds like only King Gizz could. The driving grooves coated in grating guitars and polyrhythmic drums are still equally capable of holding down extended psych jam outs (‘Rattlesnake’, ‘Open Water’) and lusher moments built around melody (‘Sleep Drifter’, ‘Nuclear Fusion’), however the tuning overhaul gives these moments an added aura of mystique and remoteness. On top of this the use of Turkish horns and a lyrical approach that focuses on the far-flung and outlandish assists in wonderfully warping ones sense of listening far from the sheltered confines of Western songwriting.

The group also demonstrate skill in cohesively merging completely new territory, such as the alternative tonal progressions and balladry  of’Billabong Valley’, into tracks that retain the bruising heaviness and tempo changes of previous work (‘Doom City’)  There are a number of moments that might flounder a little or rely on the same melody for a little too long, however this is the tradeoff the group take for experimenting with new approaches to songwriting. Swiftness and preciseness was Nonagon Infinity‘s forte, the essence of this record being to flaunt a songwriting approach far removed from what we are used to even if it means a few glitches and bumps along the way. King Gizzard appear to be entering into their prime and are reaping the rewards for remaining creative and effervescent. Considering the overall quality of Flying Microtonal Banana and that four more Gizz albums are due before the year is out, expect to hear much more freakish, uncanny goodness in the very near future.




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