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Album Review

The prolific Australian psychedelic pop combo King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard aren't the kind of band prone to repeating themselves. Over the course of their short career, they've established themselves as voracious sonic explorers who aren't afraid to take chances and never met a gimmick they didn't like. In 2015 alone they released Quarters, a jazz-prog epic featuring four songs that were each exactly ten minutes long, and the laid-back summer folk Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, which was recorded on only acoustic instruments. With such a weird and varied track record, their 2016 album, Nonagon Infinity, could have gone just about anywhere and done anything. On it, King Gizzard deliver their best trick yet to go along with their most focused, most ferocious music to date. The album is designed to flow continuously from song to song with no breaks in what the band calls an infinite loop, and unless one is listening very closely it's hard to tell where one song stops and the next begins. To help make the gimmick work, the songs are very similar in energy and approach, with lyrics from one song turning up in another and guitar riffs cycling through from one section to another. The energy level is mainly set to search and destroy throughout as the drums thunder, the lightning-fast guitars slash and burn, and the spacy vocals often break out into ecstatic shouts. The band has added some supercharged Sabbathy metal to its sound, and it works very well. The opening suite of songs punches fast and hard, like someone is slapping you repeatedly with a copy of a Saxon album. It's way more blown-out and weird than that, but you can hear a lot of late-'70s no-frills metal in the sound. The rest of the record is a little more varied, with moments of calm proggy respite, jazz-rock dreaminess, and blown-out psych-pop to balanced the frantic, sustained attack. The way the album is put together is an impressive feat, but almost beside the point since each song within the loop is worthy of standing alone. King Gizzard's inventive sound, giant hooks, and hard-as-titanium playing make Nonagon Infinity not only their best album yet, but maybe the best psych-metal-jazz-prog album ever. That can be debated, but at the very least artists like the Flaming Lips, Ty Segall, and others who think they are doing something cool and weird should check it out and take a few notes.

Customer Reviews

just listen

let this album be your shepherd into complete madness

Wow

King Gizzard has slowly been becoming my favorite band in the recent months and this album sealed the deal.

And I don't mind...It's the end of the world as we know it...

The Hollow Men -- T S Eliot

Mistah Kurtz-he dead
A penny for the Old Guy

I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer-

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Biography

Formed: 2011 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Although they formed in 2011 in Melbourne, Australia, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard's sense of unfettered sonic exploration makes them easy to mistake for a long-forgotten relic of the psych explosion of the '60s. With a far-out sound that, at times, feels barely held together, the band evoke the eclectic rock experimentation of Frank Zappa's early work with the Mothers of Invention as they follow their musical flights of fancy wherever they might go, and let the rest just fall into place on its...
Full Bio
Nonagon Infinity, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
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