King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is a fitting name for a genre-bending band who is most known for their trippy live shows, fuzz guitar and nutty in-studio behavior. They are a 7-piece 60s garage band who didn’t come down from their 70s acid trip and are now stuck in the 00’s. They’ve managed to make vintage music sound new.
From their first full length album that was supposedly self-recorded in a room full of iphones, 12 Bar Bruise to this most recent album, Fishing for Fishies a pro environmental themed album King Gizzard is prolific and diverse. No other band could produce 5 great original albums each one sounding different then the other in one year. Though each one of their 14 album’s structures are creative and imaginative, a bulk of their work focuses on the monsoon of fuzz, scuzz and buzz of Stu and Ambrose’s guitars. Their musicianship will blow you away there is no doubt about that , however, I’d be remised to mention that they also have clever lyrics and interesting concept albums. New listeners will quickly learn that Gizzard is not just a band but, are a cult and a universe all on their own. Fans love their work for better or for worse dissecting lyrics and album covers etc. I happen to be one of those fans.
Going into Fishing for Fishes as a long time fan you might be disappointed to find out that this album isn’t blaring with guitars and distant vocals. But, nonetheless you can tell that Stu and the boys had fun making experimenting on this album. However, you can argue that this album is more clean cut, streamlined and uniform then most of their other albums aside from Sketches and I think that this album may appeal to a larger audience.
Many of the songs have drums that to me sound like an obvious nod to Led Zep and some if not most of the album is a huge nod to that small but notable time in music history when boogie blues was popular. I imagine that Canned Heat was listened on repeat before this album was recorded. But, like every album that they create this album bends and mixes genres shades of Marc Bolan(T-Rex), CCR and Giorgio show up on some parts of the album.
Opening with the song “Fishing for Fishies” the band sets a great tone for what is a bizarre ride. However much you hear harmonica heavy riffs on one of my favorite tracks “Boogieman Sam”, .you can still hear the psychedelic and glam rock influences as they use slow fluttering vocoder the song “The Bird Song.”
But this album isn’t all music because behind the boogie of this album is a much needed wholesome protest album, songs like “Plastic Boogie” and “The Cruel Millennial” are a testament to that. When Stu gets on our case about plastic and technology. As a poetry and lyric fan I think Fishies is a different lyrical direction for them, and in the right direction too. These lyrics seem more profound and thoughtful.
“Real’s Not Real” felt like one of the weaker songs though it did take some unpredictable twists. And “This Thing” will def appease old Gizzard fans because through its glam rock haze it def felt like this was like the Gizzard of old. And then we reach the two songs that are the most memorable to me. “Acarine” the song that combines harmonica and euro disco to create a wonderful music experience and “Cyboogie” that dives deep into a house , disco and 80s sound. Who lyrics began sounding like some 80s Sci-fi movie soundtrack. It might also be the most synthy sounding Gizzard song. I hope to hear more songs like that on other albums.
Overall I think this album has great structure and feels as though there is an over arching story among the lyrics To me this record is just another stepping stone or building block in their wack ass laboratory , While I don’t think album is their greatest it still has a number of tracks that rock the creative musicianship that Gizzard fans have come to love .
For new fans I think you’ll dance you might even sing along once you hear the songs enough. This is to say that this album might have songs you would put on repeat overall I give it a 7/10. Well worth a listen.
Nathan Alan Schwartz is not a muggle.
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Album Reviews, Litstyle, Music, Nathan Alan Schwartz