ALBUM REVIEW: Flying Microtonal Banana by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

By Nicola Roy (@circaslaves)

Their long hair, laid-back demeanor, and psych-slacker rock sound may fool you at first, but King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are undoubtedly one of the most hard-working bands in Australia. The first of five albums they are planning on releasing this year, and their ninth altogether since their debut ’12 Bar Bruise’ in 2012, Flying Microtonal Banana could be considered a bigger, better and more artistically thought-out version of their previous release, Nonagon Infinity.

Having released this amount of records in such a short space of time, it would be expected that the same ideas and sounds would crop up a lot, but this is entirely untrue- every album of theirs has a new sound, framework and they all have a different, quirky artistic aspect that so many rock bands these days overlook- for example, on Quarters, each song was exactly 10 minutes and 10 seconds long. Not to mention Nonagon Infinity, an album that can be played continuously on a loop and the tracks will blend seamlessly into each other.

Flying Microtonal Banana is no exception. Despite their modifications to their instruments, enabling them to play microtones (hence the title), each track boasts a different and unrelenting sound. Opening track Rattlesnake is the epitome of the King Gizzard we know and love- a 7-minute long adventure of repetitive yet catchy lyrics, static riffs and a bizarre harmonica solo. Melting’s tinny, layered percussion gives a nod to more of an acid jazz sound. The microtonal tunings can be heard loud and clear in the title track, which features Arabic-style guitar riffs blended with their own signature sound, which is what makes them so unique.

Unlike Nonagon Infinity, the tracks on Banana are all based on different riffs. In true King Gizzard style, they all blend into one another without a break, but you can easily tell when one song finishes and another begins. Open Water consists of frantic, sprawling drum beats and gritty lyrics (‘Plight of poor me / No use for screaming here / I’ll drown in / Open water’), but the following track Sleep Drifter takes on a more relaxed vibe, reminiscent of cruising down a road rather than rocketing skywards, which is what many of their songs makes you feel like.

If Flying Microtonal Banana isn’t to your taste, don’t worry- they’ll probably have released another album by the time you have finished reading this. King Gizzard are too fun not to like and although 5 albums in a year is extremely ambitious, no doubt they will pull it off and provide plenty of new and exciting sounds.

8.5/10


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Mac DeMarco – I’ve Been Waiting For Her track review

Best of July #2

Mac DeMarco is sort of a big deal. His 2014 album Salad Days was met with universal acclaim and triggered a wave of recognition for the Marlboro smoking Canadian.Over the course of a year he went from a grimy, rugged hair musician making music in his own apartment to an internet icon, his online antics easily gaining him a loyal fan base.

Despite this success, DeMarco has never changed as a person. He’s always been a charming guy, his interviews showing a man who’s yet to let album of the year accolades get to his head and will gladly have fans over for a cup of coffee (listen to the end of his mini LP Another One to get the address if you’re up to the challenge).

Very much in the same way he’s stayed a down to earth, charming guy, so to has his music kept that fuzzy warmth to it that he excelled with on Salad Days. I’ve Been Waiting For Her doesn’t have the exact same sound, instead a more perfected version of what fans have experienced before. His lyrics are still as sappy and sincere as ever, showing that he’s more than just a loveable goofball who likes to talk about anuses on Instagram. “Give up my life for the rhythm, for the beat of a heart like hers” he delivers over a delightful simplistic blend of guitars. It’s the kind of song you’d love to have played while walking along the beach or just relaxing in the sun.

DeMarco isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. Mini LP Another One is released on August 7th though if you can’t wait that long then I’m totally not suggesting that you listen to a leak that is no doubt circulating the internet. He’ll be touring the UK this summer as well, you’d be a sucker to miss out on him.

Listen to the track here!

Liam Menzies
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