King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: L.W. (Caroline/Flightless) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, December 3rd, 2021  

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

L.W.

Caroline/Flightless

Mar 24, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


To call King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s seventeenth album, L.W., a companion album to last year’s K.G. is to undermine its ingenuity. The two records are truly siblings: unique in their aesthetic, staunchly individual, yet share the same DNA and might have lived in the same home before they were asked to “go out and explore the world.”

Subtitled Explorations into Microtonal Tuning Vol. 3, L.W., does, in a way, pick up where K.G. left off: in the middle of a global tour of musical influence, ranging from sub-Saharan scales and rhytms, to Indian raga nods. But there are elements to L.W. that feel as if the Melbourne six-piece is peeling back yet another of their creativity and getting closer to the core of who they really are.

Released almost four years to the day after the band’s ground-breaking Flying Microtonal Banana (aka, Explorations into Microtonal Tuning Vol. 1), L.W shows the band continuing to enjoy the sounds of stringed instruments and drum kits that are tuned to microtones. Guitars have extra frets so that the band can hit “non-traditional” notes; the drums are pitched slightly off-key but are still hit in such a syncopated way so as to keep the listener’s foot tapping. The result is another collection of slightly wonky, very head-noddy songs.

Themes of ecological demise, dystopian futures, and the addictive drip feed of news media all contribute to a nine-track journey of some of King Gizzard’s most advanced work yet. The songwriting members of the band settle further into their distinct styles: guitarist and frontman Stu Mackenzie (“If Not Now, Then When?,” “See Me”) continues to depict doom with jazzy and playful aplomb; the songs that guitarist Joey Walker writes (“Pleura,” “Ataraxia”) are more sides to an obscure and positively groovy n-gon; and on keyboards/harmonica, Ambrose Kenney-Smith (“Supreme Ascendancy” and “Static Electricity”) conjures off-kilter images, punctuated by unique choruses. This is a band at the height of their powers and their creative output, who know exactly what they’re doing. One just needs to listen to the two parts of the track “K.G.L.W” that bookend the K.G. / L.W. project to fully grasp the range in which this band expertly navigates.
Yes, this is their seventeenth album in 11 years. But they leave no stone unturned or path unexplored. Look out for more of the same sonic (and microtonal) exploration in the very near future—maybe even later this year. (www.kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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