Gig Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Thursday 10th April @ The Roller Den

Fuck man. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard amirite? Four albums in 18 months? That’s like me completing a university assignment on time-fucking impossible! Hell, you’d be better off getting me to hold a conversation with someone who doesn’t know who the Black Lips are than stopping King Gizzard from pumping out new, consistently mind-blowing material. That’s why everyone who wanted to get bits of their highest expectations exploded out of their skull attended the Gizz’s show in Erskineville that Thursday night.

The night opened with local psychers Raindrop. A damn good performance, but nothing to write home about. Worth chucking a text or a sneaky e-mail to your mate who digs on Tame Impala and POND though. The guys were pretty stereotypical psych lords, long haired dudes with cool shirts, busting out long, droning solos and wrapping the audiences’ head in a hefty sheet of reverb. Overall, everyone who was on drugs (90% of the crowd) loved Raindrop, and the others wore a smile of content.

Next up though, were garage punk kings The Living Eyes. The singer/guitarist Billy runs Anti-Fade records, one of the finest churners of garage and punk in the Southern Hemisphere, so no doubt his own band are going to be fucking sick. The guy with the balls to press records from The Gooch Palms, Wet Blankets and Ausmuteants is obviously a guy with the balls to blitz the fuck out of a show.

And blitz they did, raining down a storm of riffs and fuzz fury on an unsuspecting crowd that quickly turned into a mosh of Slayer proportions. Seriously, it was like a bukkake of guttural guitar and howling,wretched garage rock. The crowd couldn’t get enough of the ferocity on stage; even when a string broke and the band awkwardly waited for a replacement onstage, they had no trouble rolling back into oblivion-mode when a new guitar began it’s thrashing induction. ‘Ways to Make A Living’ and ‘Eat It Up’ packed particularly intense Mike-Tyson ear-chewing punches. There was a do-or-die vibe, like the B-52’s meeting Bass Drum of Death competing in a fiery go-kart race where everyone dies in an explosion of tyre and garage fuzz at the end.

Finally, the Gizz got onstage, and the only conceivable problem was how they were going to fit all seven members on stage. They managed, a lot better than on the considerably smaller stage at FBi Social on the Saturday night, and the show got into full swing quicker than an episode of Game of Thrones kills off a major character. Immediately, ear drums were blown, and a roiling mass of bodies began. The Gizz played with passion and perseverance, eliciting the kind of vibrancy that you’d rarely see at a gig.

The material mainly stuck to the previous two album releases-this year’s ‘Oddments’ and last year’s ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’. Basically, that meant that the songs could range anywhere between three minutes and ‘Head On/Pill’ sixteen minute-plus extravaganza. But all the material showed off a new-side of the band that allowed the audience to revel and indulge in carnal dancing and excitement, like a seven-pieced psychedelic Dungeons & Dragons die.

For example, ‘Sleepwalker’ was entrancing like the best Animal Collective material, whilst ‘Hot Wax’, was a primal seeper, divulging in a mud-caked, bass-driven firecracker that is best set off after a batch of bad acid acid in the swamps of Perth. And the fact that ‘Head On/Pill’ has upwards of five muscular, pile-driving sections where all the audience is allowed to do is headbang and thrash is a testament to what kind of insane beast King Gizzard are in the live format.

Seeing this band live is a 100% must. They’re like a version of the Planeteers that were obssessed with the Nuggets compilations instead of hanging out with a guy with a green mullet that painted himself blue-apart, they’re just a bunch of long-haired minstrels. But together, and attached to their various instruments-a harmonica, a guitar, a theremin, a drum kit, whatever- their powers combine to form a loud, real and impossibly addictive show that will fuck up your ears and make every nerve ending in your body resemble a fried composition of total happiness.

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