Flying Microtonal Banana

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Flying Microtonal Banana
Flying Microtonal Banana.jpg
Studio album by
Released24 February 2017 (2017-02-24)
RecordedApril–September 2016
StudioFlightless HQ
Genre
Length41:53
Label
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard chronology
Nonagon Infinity
(2016)
Flying Microtonal Banana
(2017)
Murder of the Universe
(2017)
Singles from Flying Microtonal Banana
  1. "Rattlesnake"
    Released: 10 November 2016
  2. "Nuclear Fusion"
    Released: 21 December 2016
  3. "Sleep Drifter"
    Released: 17 January 2017

Flying Microtonal Banana (subtitled Explorations into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 1) is the ninth studio album by Australian psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. It was released on 24 February 2017 on Flightless Records in Australia,[1] ATO Records in the United States,[2] and Heavenly Recordings in the United Kingdom.[3] It is the first of five albums released by the band in 2017.[4]

The album earned the band a nomination for Best Group at the ARIA Music Awards of 2017, losing to Gang of Youths for Go Farther in Lightness. It is also the first album by the band to chart on the Billboard 200, peaking at 170.

Music[edit]

Subtitled Explorations into Microtonal Tuning, Volume 1, the album is recorded in quarter tone tuning, where an octave is divided into 24 (logarithmically) equal-distanced quarter tones; it was originally conceived to play on a baglama, so the band members used instruments specifically modified for microtonal tuning, as well as other Middle-Eastern instruments like the zurna. The name "Flying Microtonal Banana" comes from Stu Mackenzie's custom-built yellow guitar, fitted with additional microtonal frets.[5]

The album has been described as psychedelic rock,[6][7] acid rock[8] and experimental rock,[9] with elements of krautrock[9][10] and Middle Eastern/Turkish music.[9][11]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.9/10[12]
Metacritic72/100[13]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[14]
DIY4/5 stars[15]
Exclaim!8/10[16]
The Guardian3/5 stars[8]
Mojo3/5 stars[17]
Pitchfork7.4/10[18]
Q3/5 stars[19]
Record Collector4/5 stars[20]
The Times4/5 stars[21]
Uncut8/10[22]

Upon its release, Flying Microtonal Banana received positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, the album holds an average critic score of 72 out of 100, based on 15 reviews, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[13]

AllMusic's Tim Sendra wrote, "it's clear that the experiment was a success and that the microtuned instruments fit in perfectly with their oddball aesthetic" describing the melodies as "more exotic (to ears attuned to Western music anyway) and complex" compared to previous albums.[14] While comparing it unfavourably to its predecessor, Pitchfork contributor Stuart Bremen still commended the album, writing "if Flying Microtonal Banana's randomized approach is ultimately less transfixing than Nonagon Infinity's maniacal focus, it nonetheless shows that, after eight previous albums, this band's creativity and curiosity knows no bounds, and their singular balance of anarchy and accessibility is still in check. So even if you don't understand the first thing about microtonality, there's still plenty of flying banana here to keep you amused."[18]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
Uncut The Best Albums Of 2017 2017
35

Track listing[edit]

Vinyl releases have tracks 1–3 on side A, and tracks 4–9 on side B.[24]

All tracks are written by Stu Mackenzie unless otherwise specified.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Rattlesnake" 7:48
2."Melting" 5:27
3."Open Water" 7:13
4."Sleep Drifter" 4:44
5."Billabong Valley"Mackenzie, Ambrose Kenny-Smith3:34
6."Anoxia"Joey Walker3:04
7."Doom City" 3:14
8."Nuclear Fusion"Mackenzie, Walker4:15
9."Flying Microtonal Banana"Mackenzie, Walker2:34
Total length:41:53

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Flying Microtonal Banana adapted from liner notes.[25]

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

  • Michael Cavanagh – drum kit (tracks 1–8), bongos (tracks 3–5, 8, 9), percussion (track 9)
  • Cook Craig – microtonal guitar (tracks 1, 3, 7), microtonal bass guitar (tracks 4, 6)
  • Ambrose Kenny-Smith – microtonal harmonica (tracks 1, 4, 7–9), vocals (track 5), piano (tracks 1, 5, 9), synthesizer (tracks 2, 3, 8, 9)
  • Stu Mackenzie – microtonal guitar (tracks 1–8), microtonal bass guitar (tracks 2, 8), zurna (tracks 1, 3, 5–7, 9), vocals (tracks 1–4, 7, 8), percussion (tracks 1, 2, 3, 9)
  • Eric Moore – drum kit (tracks 1, 3), bongos (track 9)
  • Lucas Skinner – microtonal bass guitar (tracks 1–3, 7)
  • Joey Walker – microtonal guitar (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9), microtonal bass guitar (track 5), vocals (track 6)

Production

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[26] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[27] 87
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[28] 60
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[29] 79
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[30] 7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[31] 66
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 100
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[33] 10
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[34] 32
US Billboard 200[35] 170

References[edit]

  1. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". Flightless Records. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Flying Microtonal Banana – Out Feb 24". www.atorecords.com. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  3. ^ "King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana". Heavenly Emporium. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  4. ^ Perry, Kevin EG (12 November 2016). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: can the psych band release five albums in one year?". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  5. ^ Huguenor, Mike (21 August 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Talk New Album, 'Flying Microtonal Banana'". Guitar World. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  6. ^ Coakley, Matthew (3 March 2017). "King Gizzard experiments with exotic music techniques". The Triangle. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  7. ^ Corcoran, Nina (1 December 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygondwanaland Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 August 2019. exploding with the psych rock frenzy of Flying Microtonal Banana or I’m in Your Mind Fuzz.
  8. ^ a b Mardles, Paul (26 February 2017). "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana review – potent acid rock". The Guardian. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Ross, Jakob (8 March 2017). "'Flying Microtonal Banana,' King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard". The Daily of the University of Washington. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  10. ^ Breihan, Tom (21 November 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard 'Polygondwanaland'". Stereogum. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  11. ^ Pehling, Dave (12 August 2019). "Australian Psych Band Plays Reopened San Francisco Venue". KPIX-TV. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Flying Microtonal Banana by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Reviews for Flying Microtonal Banana by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  14. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Flying Microtonal Banana – King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  15. ^ Konemann, Liam (24 February 2017). "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana". DIY. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  16. ^ Schulz, Cosette (22 February 2017). "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana". Exclaim!. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  17. ^ Nelson, Chris (March 2017). "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana". Mojo (280): 98.
  18. ^ a b Berman, Stuart (25 February 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  19. ^ Harrison, Ian (April 2017). "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana". Q (370): 112.
  20. ^ Moores, JR (February 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana". Record Collector (463). Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  21. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (24 February 2017). "Pop: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  22. ^ Anderson, Jason (March 2017). "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana". Uncut (238): 32.
  23. ^ Bonner, Michael (21 December 2017). "The Best Albums Of 2017 – The Uncut Top 50 – Page 2 of 5". Uncut. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  24. ^ Flying Microtonal Banana at Discogs (list of releases)
  25. ^ Track listing and credits as per liner notes for Flying Microtonal Banana album
  26. ^ "Australiancharts.com – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  30. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  33. ^ "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  34. ^ "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  35. ^ "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 March 2017.

External links[edit]