Album Review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard-Float Along-Fill Your Lungs

ImageHoly. Fucking. Shit. This album. This fucking album…goes beyond words of how fucking amazing an album is capable of being. Think Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ banging The Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile On Main Street’ in a shitty motel room, and then an hour later, Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ and Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ score some mean smack off The Flaming Lips’ ‘The Soft Bulletin’, and shoot up in the exact same room. The blood and semen mix, Stu Mackenzie happened to catch some in a vial, went back to the lab, and created this fucking masterpiece. Yep, ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ is as classic an album as they come, and that is no mean feat. You, as a member of the human race, need to buy a dozen copies of this album, and bathe yourself in it, because that is the only way you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the true power of this record, and this band.

To step back a bit, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (henceforth known as King Jizz) is a septet (that’s seven people!) from Melbourne that have created some of the most fried sounds to penetrate the human existence since Neanderthals learned to speak. However, the greatest thin about King Jizz, besides how fucking great they sound all the time, is how they’ve managed to re-invent themselves. When I was but a wee 16 year old, I first fell in love with their raucous garage rock n roll from their ‘Willoughby’s Beach’ EP. Now, whilst they’ve always maintained that strong, unhinged sound, their debut album went to elongate those ideas, whilst the second album went to the opposite end of the spectrum and came out as an epic spaghetti western. Now there’s a third album, and it sees King Jizz re-inventing themselves again as pysch-ward shoegaze superstars Oh, and did I  mention, this is their third album in 18 months? They’ve accomplished more in a year and a half than Keanu Reeves has since in the years following ‘Point Break’. And they’ve done it by constantly re-inventing themselves and never sending the same bullshit out into the world twice! Normally, a re-invention spells foreboding doom-Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are just a few of the artists in recent years to ‘mix shit up’, and have come out with confusing and bland results. BUT KING JIZZ HAVE PREVAILED! Because ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ never misses a mark, not even fucking once.

Starting with the obvious point of reference would be 16 minute orgasm ‘Head On/Pill’. I haven’t been able to get enough of this song, and I first heard it about a month and a half ago. Considering it has a time-limit longer than most student short films, things that seem to go on forever, ‘Head On/Pill’ feels  like it could go on forever and never get boring. The constant shifts in tempo, from gruelling guitar dribbling, to afro-eclectrocution levels of hair-raising awesome, the song never fails to satisfy, no matter what point it’s at. There’s all the traditional signs of a great King Jizz song, from the John Dwyer-like yelps of ecstasy, to the kookaburra-laugh guitar screeches that the band have got down so well. But the addition of Middle Eastern sounds and a sitar to the experiment takes shit to a whole other level-if you haven’t fallen in love with this song after your first listen to this song, then you may as well sell all your 13th Floor Elevators records, because you are officially an enemy to psychedelic music.

If the 16 minute jam sesh through heavenly sounds isn’t really your style, but you’re still a fan of the weird, then the rest of the album should provide some comfort. King Jizz don’t let up on the wackness, unloading the lite-n-easy glamour of ‘I Am Not A Man Unless I Have A Woman’, and then piling on the lo-fi acoustic Ty Segallian ‘God Is Calling Me Back Home’, a fucking brilliant song that thankfully transforms into a sprawling mess of guitar tendrils and smoky reverb. From here, the album takes a darker sonic turn with songs like ‘Mystery Jack’ and ’30 Past 7′ bringing the acid-doom back to psychedelic music. Wafting and swaying, soaked in the spirits of fucked-up-ness, the rest of the album is a deep, congested examination of ‘real pyschedelic music’. It’s stuff that’s been to the other side and back, harrowed and forlorn, but somehow alive, and ready to spin a tale. Just a listen to the mind-expanding sounds of title track and closer ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ should be enough the convince you that this is a band that are in way too deep. But they’ve made this album, and it’s the closest thing to gaining a spiritual awakening from psychedelica since…well, ever.

That’s right, in my humble opinion, King Jizz have crafted the perfect pyschedelic album. Sure, it ticks off the full, mind-altering sound that is required of good pysch albums (The Flaming Lips), and it completes the quest of thematic genius that is required of great psych albums (Tame Impala). But King Jizz take it a step further, putting themselves in a viewpoint of world-wearied evil, then collided it with their slack-jawed, dilated-pupil garage and come up with something that, dare I say it, is completely original. ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ does not just entertain the listener, but challenges and  compels them, freaks them out, comforts them, and then disappears on them having taught them everything they know. Fuck, that’s some poetic justice right there.

You can buy ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ right now at King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s Bandcamp, or head to Itunes. To see the band, (I’m not even going to come up with some bullshit metaphorical comparison, you need to see this band), they’ll be playing at The Standard on Saturday, November 2nd. Go. If you don’t, God will weep for humanity.


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