King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard

By Prim

It’s always been a conundrum to me that way back when, many centuries ago, beardy-man etched a naked bison on a slab of rock in a dank French cave or, more to the geographical point, the rock on which Gwion Gwion exhibits ladies replete with handbags. With not so much as a paint-by-numbers kit in sight, it is difficult for me to comprehend the ease of complexity in which King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard effortlessly roll out tune after tune with the natural impulse of ambient psychedelic beach pop, stemmed from an instinctive intuition.

For with King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard, it is the procrastination of hands undoing what a collective mind induces. I am a firm member of the procrastination club, especially when it comes to shaving, cutting my toenails and combing what hair is left, but in this band there are four guitarists, two drummers and a harmonica that, in a weaving, rambling mosey, flow together between a loose-tripping jaunt to freak out-zone and back again.

From Melbourne, they formed in 2012 as pooled offshoots from other bands and described themselves as a bit of a joke band. Now, six albums in, they’ve changed that to “completely fried theremin-wielding psychopaths”.

There’s a definite spaghetti western / 13th Floor Elevators / Floyd inspiration that creates a tone of pure base rock ‘n roll dipped in a jumble brewing cauldron of preternatural blues. Three tracks I’ve selected note their interchangeable sound from hard-core heavy to over-easy. Cellophane, off the 2014 album I’m in Your Mind Fuzz, is a fast-paced taste of their lengthier epics designed to get the meerkats’ heads above the parapets with its revving pulse.

Head On / Pill, from 2013’s Float Along – Fill Your Lungs, is 16 minutes of a pure and unadulterated lull into a false sense of security, such is the loose jam and swing back and forth from a meat-gristled amble groove in your psychedelic pants to a who let the reverberation wham-out in through the back door.

The River comes from the recent album Quarters, which came out in May on Relentless / Remote Control and does as it says on the tin, meanders dazingly hypnotic with a splint of grit to ebb its flow. It’s also 10 minutes and 10 seconds long, as all four songs on the album are, which is as blindingly absurd as a 10,000 year-old bloke pipping Michelangelo to the al fresco rock post.

It’s not for everyone; my mate Dave says it’s a bit repetitive. I just tell him over and over again that I like it.