King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard's eye-catching name alone is enough to make the casual music fan curious, but their unique sound continues to hypnotize fans into begging for more. More is definitely what King Gizzard has offered, producing nine albums since their formation in 2010. It's difficult to assign a particular genre to the seven piece band from Melbourne because of the complexity of their albums, but one could safely refer to them as a psychedelic rock band with definite Jazz, Metal, Folk, Progressive Rock and Soul influences. Their live performances are mesmerizing and epic, blending many different musical genres with a slew of unconventional instruments to create controlled musical chaos. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard are a can't miss band to see on any festival lineup.
Off the album 12 Bar Bruise lies this surf rock gem that blends Australian beach rock vibes with a '90s grunge feel. Released in 2012, this album is their first full-length release that followed two earlier EPs. This song represents the early framework of this experimental band and in retrospect, it's an indicator of the amazingly creative musicians they have grown into. Take it as a reminder to never stop practicing your craft and trying to progress.
9. "Billabong Valley"
This song might as well have been named "The Ballad of Mad Dog Morgan" as it references the Australian bushranger, Mad Dog Morgan, as an "outlaw on the run faster than a stolen gun." Off of the band's latest album, Flying Microtonal Banana, "Billabong Valley" incorporates a spaghetti western sound with micro-tuned instruments and those classic King Gizzard psychedelic elements. Listen for their use of a Zurna, a Turkish horn that gives the song a snake charmer type of feel.
This opening track off 2015's Paper Mache Dream Balloon might be the perfect opener to set the tone for this melodic, jazz-inspired folk rock album. As the song opens, that beautiful jazz clarinet soothes your soul, setting the mood for this slow jam beauty. Paper Mache Dream Balloon differs heavily from King Gizzard's typical mold because of its dedication to simple acoustic elements, which was described as a "concept-less concept album" on the band's website.
The opening two songs from I'm In Your Mind Fuzz, the band's fifth studio album, create a melodic whirlwind of punk and metal-inspired sounds combined with a screaming southern harmonica that haunts your ears (in a good way); reminiscent of a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster at Disneyland. The album touches on social deception and mind control, again living up to King Gizzard's reputation of a concept album approach. Fast, progressive drums drive this song with an amazingly catchy bass line and King Gizzard's signature guitar solos.
6. "Gamma Knife"
2016's Nonagon Infinity was the band's eighth studio album and arguably their most ambitious. All nine songs are connected through an intricate design where the final track connects right back to the opening track seamlessly. Stu Mackenzie once referred to Nonagon Infinity as "a never-ending album". The metal and progressive rock elements on this album, combined with traditional King Gizzard unpredictability, makes this one a must listen.
Flying Microtonal Banana, the microtone experiment gone terribly right, offers the previously mentioned spaghetti western sound in the most incredible way with "Rattlesnake." Short but powerful harmonica bursts accompany a catchy chorus in this addicting song that we can't stop listening to. The Turkish horn introduces itself again in this song, accompanied by high desert-esque wind storm sound effects, shaping this song in to something resembling a film score for a wild west epic.
I'm In Your Mind Fuzz offers another exceptional track in this complex jam. Fast and continuously building chants, accompanied by high-pitched guitars and a never-ending bass line, make this one of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard's best live songs. The complex use of the harmonica in this song is masterful, and to be honest, everything in life is better with more harmonica.
3. "Sleep Drifter"
This is the perfect soundtrack for the musical dream sequence that the Flying Microtonal Banana album is and always will be. A beautiful, consistent melody accompanies hauntingly eerie lyrics in this smooth psychedelic rock lullaby. Fans can close their eyes and let their brain be the cinematographer here, this song is the perfect score.
2. "Head On/ Pill"
Arguably their best live song, "Head On/Pill" drowns us in a triumphant guitar riff and psychedelic imagery to start, before erupting into a storm of musical perfection. The surf rock element reintroduces itself with a lot of progressive instrumentals that drive this 16-plus minute song. Off of 2013's Float Along album, this song incorporates many of the styles that King Gizzard would individually focus on in their future projects and seemed to be a bridge to a more psychedelic rock foundation that the band resembles today.
1. "The River"
"Trust in the river I am floating down" croons Stu Mackenzie in this psych rock anthem as he serenades listeners down a mystical river of music. "The River" intrigues ears with beautiful breakdowns and intricate build ups that navigate a complex 10-minute jam that is undeniably awesome. This song not only teaches one to trust in the river of life but to trust in the hypnotizing talents of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.