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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New Australian Music: Prolife + Martyr Privates/Thigh Master + Raindrop + Wolf Cola + The Owls + The Ninjas

Whilst The Great Barrier Reef prepares itself for the biggest natural raping in mankind’s history, and sharks in Western Australia ready themselves for the massacre, there comes the small condolence that Australian Music is still in top form.

Prolife-Gold Leaves

Slug Guts were one of the pillars of Brisbane’s underground scene, so it was a real fucking bummer when they broke up. They managed to make noise music sound interesting and fresh again, and then, suddenly, it looked like things were going to get all fucked up again. From two of Slug Guts’ remaining members comes Prolife, an anti-suicide band. However, instead of shredding noise that echoed with Junkyard-era Birthday Party, we get the Rowland S. Howard experience. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, it only seems logical that there be that re shifting of musical ideology after being immersed in a blood bath of viciousness for so long. ‘Gold Leaves’ is fucking beautiful, just soft, layered mush slowly pressing its corpse against you and hushed, melancholy vocals ringing hollow. The result is a sincere and creepy track that can only be described in synonyms of praise.

 

Martyr Privates/Thigh Master-Split Cassingle

Quick review: get behind both these bands as fast as you can. They are about to very soon become highlights of Brisbane’s underground scene the same way Palms, Straight Arrows and Unity Floors are so central to Sydney’s music group. Seriously, both these bands couldn’t have offered greater singles to this work of art if they tried. This cassette is like the fucking Holy Grail of awesome things that all music lovers could own, right next to Ozzy Osborne’s pubes and Axl Rose’s lobotomised brain.

Martyr Privates are first, and they offer a super ultra dooper cool take on the John Dwyer School of Advanced Garagery. Think super wild overblown fuzz, like a screeching pterodactyl laying eggs on top of your face. Its exposed stoner-fuzz of the highest order.

As for Thigh Master, well everyone knows how much I love these guys. Sassy as Beyonce and local as the kebab shop down the road, these blokes make garage tunes to be danced and cried to. Strung out and bleached beyond recognition, Thigh Master are like that stain that you have on your favourite shirt-technically an imperfection, but one that’s got more character than all the seasons of FRIENDS compiled together.

 

Raindrop-It Goes Off

Now moving onto some stuff that could’ve been demo material from POND’s sessions for ‘Hobo Rocket’. Splashes of psychedelic glam rock, shimmering with the kind of attitude Ziggy Stardust had right before he got devoured by the New Wave scene and not-multi coloured hair. If anything, ‘It Goes Off’ is like a journey, similar to the one’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra ride on. Basically, these are just massive compliments for the debut track from a glorious little Sydney psych band. In three words, it’s fucking good.

 

Wolf Cola-Wolf Cola EP

Wolf Cola sounds like a marketing ploy for a really manly drink. Other contenders for the name were Mountain Lion Pop and Lioness Power Drank. But Wolf Cola won out because its fierce and fast, a lightning bolt to the cock.

Only, the band did away with that sort of marketing bullshit and went with a super chilled cuppa sort of thing, a drink you relax with on your balcony, that’ll put you in a drunken stupor in no time. A mixture of Baileys, Coke and Jack Daniels, on the rocks. Sounds disgusting, but if we didn’t mix random shit we never would’ve gotten the White Russian, and then there would be no Dude.

Wolf Cola (the band) are from Sydney that exemplify that sort of upbeat downer paradox that other bands like The Black Lips, Jay Reatard and Royal Headache did really well, only with a beachy touch that makes it seem like the Beach Boys got together after a month of injecting who knows what. Again, that’s a compliment. The result of Wolf Cola’s debut EP is a mouth agape, drunken howling of amateur rock at its finest. Let the fuzz be turned way up and the bliss release be implanted in all the brains of those lucky enough to be within hearing distance.

 

The Love Junkies-Chemical Motivation

Onto something that swings its dick in your face and smugly begs for you to get fired up so that you can both engage in an old fashioned bar fight, and the bar band strike up an old school Errol Flynn duelling ditty. What a romantic thought and gesture on The Love Junkies part. ‘Chemical Motivation’ is a shock to the system, switching from 60’s smoothness that would have Fred Willard all flustered and mumbling, it engages into a hyperspeed, Nirvana-ish chorus that is an inch away from making you shit yourself. Dat brown note.

 

The Owls-Krakow

For those that like Kasabian comes a Newcastle band that twist some Snowdroppers and Gay Paris on that formulaic shit. The Owls are ready to sleazily move themselves into a level of rock music that only The Hives have really achieved, namely high-energy ballads that make you want to stroll through a manor and box with Daniel Day-Lewis. ‘Krakow’ is the sort of long, strung-out thing that blows minds with the energy of Krakatoa.

The Ninjas-Kill ‘Em All

Look, a chord for chord replication of Metallica’s masterpiece would’ve been nice, but this Velociraptor-ish single fromThe Ninja’s is a radio-ready, rock track that cuts the bullshit to make way for the solo’s. Big, heavy chorus, drooling Cribs-like guitar-Noel Gallagher, Julian Casbalancas and Johnny Marr would be probably be all over this band. Keep up these kinds of smash singles, and I can see The Ninjas supporting The Strokes all around the world.