King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

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King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.jpg
Three-sevenths of the band onstage. From left to right: Cook Craig, Ambrose Kenny-Smith and Stu Mackenzie.
Background information
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres
Years active 2010–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • The Murlocs
  • Gum
  • Broderick Smith
  • Atolls
  • Love Migrate
  • Pipe Eye
  • Dreamin' Wild
  • Sambrose Automobile
  • The Babe Rainbow
  • Fraser A. Gorman
  • Buried Horses
  • Mild High Club
Website kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com
Members Stu Mackenzie
Ambrose Kenny Smith
Joey Walker
Cook Craig
Lucas Skinner
Michael Cavanagh
Eric Moore

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is an Australian psychedelic rock band formed in 2010 in Melbourne, Victoria.[1][2] The band consists of Stu Mackenzie (vocals, guitar, keyboards, flute), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (vocals, harmonica, keyboards), Cook Craig (guitar, vocals), Joey Walker (guitar, vocals), Lucas Skinner (bass), Michael Cavanagh (drums, percussion), and Eric Moore (drums, percussion, management). They are known for their prolific recording output, as well as their energetic live performances.

The release of their first two albums, 12 Bar Bruise (2012) and Eyes Like the Sky (2013) primarily blended surf music, garage rock and psychedelic rock into the band's sound. They were also the debut releases of the band's independent record label, Flightless, founded by Moore in 2012. Their third to eighth albums — Float Along - Fill Your Lungs (2013), Oddments, I'm in Your Mind Fuzz (2014), Quarters!, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (2015) and Nonagon Infinity (2016) — expanded their sound, including elements of film music, progressive rock, folk, jazz, soul and heavy metal.[3][4]

In 2017, the band promised to release five studio albums within the year: Flying Microtonal Banana in February, Murder of the Universe in June, Sketches of Brunswick East, a collaboration with the music project of Alex Brettin, Mild High Club, in August, Polygondwanaland, which was released into the public domain, in November, and Gumboot Soup in December.

History[edit]

Formation (2010)[edit]

The band members all grew up and went to school in the Deniliquin, Melbourne and Geelong areas. The band started off as a group of friends jamming together, before a mutual friend asked them to play at a show. The band's name was created "last minute". Mackenzie wanted to name the band "Gizzard Gizzard" while another band member wanted Jim Morrison's nickname "Lizard King". They eventually compromised with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.[5] The artist Jason Galea has created all of the band's album art, and a majority of their music videos.

Early EPs and 12 Bar Bruise (2011–2012)[edit]

The band's first release, 2011's Anglesea, was released as a four-track EP on CD. It is named after Anglesea, the coastal town where Mackenzie grew up, and is currently not available for purchase, physically or digitally.[5] The band's second release, Willoughby's Beach, was released by Shock Records on 21 October 2011.[6] Beat Magazine described the 9-track garage rock EP as "filled to the teeth with consistently killer hooks."[7] In December 2011, the band appeared at the Meredith Music Festival for the first time.

The band's first full-length album, 12 Bar Bruise, was released on 7 September 2012.[8] The 12-track garage rock album was self-recorded, and several tracks used unconventional recording methods. For example, the vocals for the album's title track were recorded through four iPhones placed around a room while Mackenzie sang into one of them.[9]

Eyes Like the Sky and Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)[edit]

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard's second full-length album, Eyes Like the Sky, was released on 22 February 2013.[10] Described as a "cult western audio book",[10] the album is narrated by Broderick Smith and tells a story of outlaws, child soldiers, Native Americans and gun fights, all set in the American frontier. The album was written collaboratively by Smith and Stu Mackenzie. When asked about the album's influences, Mackenzie said: "I love Western films. I love bad guys and I love Red Dead Redemption. Oh, and I love evil guitars".[11]

The band's third full-length album, Float Along - Fill Your Lungs, was released on 27 September 2013.[12] King Gizzard shifted from garage rock to a more mellow folk and psychedelic sound on this eight track album.[13]

Oddments and I'm in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)[edit]

Float Along – Fill Your Lungs was followed by Oddments, released on 7 March 2014.[14] Over the course of this 12-track album, the band takes a more melodic approach, and Mackenzie's vocals are more prominent.[15] Oddments has been described as being "recorded through a woolen sock in an adjacent room".[16]

The band's fifth full-length album, I'm in Your Mind Fuzz, was released on 31 October 2014.[17] The 10-track album touches on elements of fantasy[18] and lyrically delves into the concept of mind control. This was the first time the band took a "traditional" approach to writing and recording an album; the songs were written, the band rehearsed together, and they recorded the songs "as a band" in the studio.[19] Pitchfork described the album as "open[ing] with a sprint" and ending "with some of their best slow jams."[20]

Quarters! and Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (2015)[edit]

Quarters!, King Gizzard's sixth full-length album, was released on 1 May 2015.[21] The album features four songs, each running for ten minutes and ten seconds,[22] making each song a quarter of the album. Drawing upon jazz-fusion and acid rock, the album's more laid-back sound was described as "unlike anything they’ve released before" and as "an album more likely to get your head bobbing and hips shaking as opposed to losing footwear in a violent mosh".[23]

Later in the year, on 13 November 2015, the band released its seventh full-length album, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon.[24] This "concept-less concept album" features only acoustic instruments and was recorded on Mackenzie's parents' farm in country Victoria.[24] The album features "a collection of short unrelated songs"[24] described as "mellow, defuzzed psychedelia".[25] The band released a music video for the song "Trapdoor".[26] It was the band's first album to be released in the United States via ATO Records.[27]

Nonagon Infinity (2016)[edit]

The band's eighth full-length album, Nonagon Infinity, was released worldwide on 29 April 2016.[28] Described by Mackenzie as a "never-ending album", it features nine songs connected by musical motifs which flow "seamlessly" into each other with the last track "linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic mobius strip".[29] On 8 March the band released a video for the first single, "Gamma Knife".[30] It contained a riff from the song "People Vultures" which was premiered on 4 April[31] with a music video released on 6 May.[32] The album received high praise from critics, with Pitchfork's Stuart Berman writing it "yields some of the most outrageous, exhilarating rock 'n' roll in recent memory."[33] The band earned its first ARIA Award when Nonagon Infinity won the 2016 ARIA Award for Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album.

Five albums in one year (2017)[edit]

We had this random batch of songs. It was not a cohesive record at all. So we thought we’d split it up, and split again until it became five. We worked on Nonagon Infinity pretty intensely in 2015 and 2016. We came close to burning ourselves out, or at least wringing each other’s necks. We took a break, and then all these random, disparate song ideas came out of that void of not recording for a little while. Then we worked on everything one album at a time.

Stu Mackenzie, November 2017[34]

The band's ninth full-length album, Flying Microtonal Banana, was recorded in the band's own studio[35] and released on 24 February 2017.[36] Originally conceived as a record to be played on the Turkish baglama (a stringed instrument with movable frets), Flying Microtonal Banana has been described as "a soaring take on microtonal music".[37] Three tracks were issued in advance: "Rattlesnake,"[38] the opening track, in October 2016; "Nuclear Fusion" in December 2016; and "Sleep Drifter" in January 2017.[39][40] The band released a music video for "Rattlesnake", directed by Jason Galea.[41]

Another full-length album, Murder of the Universe, was released on 23 June 2017.[42] Described by the band as a "concept album to end all concepts",[43][44] it is divided into 3 chapters: The Tale Of The Altered Beast; The Lord Of Lightning vs Balrog; released 30 May 2017; and Han-Tyumi And The Murder Of The Universe released 11 April 2017. It is narrated by Leah Senior[45] for the first two chapters, and a text-to-speech program for the final chapter. The band made their international television debut on 17 April 2017 performing "The Lord of Lightning" on Conan on TBS in the United States.[46]

King Gizzard's next full-length album, Sketches of Brunswick East, a collaboration with Alex Brettin's psychedelic jazz project Mild High Club, was released on 18 August 2017.[47] Taking inspiration from Miles Davis' 1960 album Sketches Of Spain, as well as the band's base recording location of Brunswick East in Melbourne, it is a jazz-improvisational album. Mackenzie described the record as "perhaps representing greater changes that are happening in the wider world, and (this is) our attempt to find beauty within a place that we spend so much time", referring to the constant changes in their neighbourhood.[47]

King Gizzard's twelfth studio album, Polygondwanaland, was released as a free download on 17 November 2017. The band encouraged fans and independent record labels to create their own pressings of the album, stating that "[Polygondwanaland] is FREE. Free as in, free. Free to download and if you wish, free to make copies. Make tapes, make CD’s, make records . . . Ever wanted to start your own record label? GO for it! Employ your mates, press wax, pack boxes. We do not own this record. You do. Go forth, share, enjoy."[48] The album was promoted with the release of the first track, "Crumbling Castle," on 18 October 2017. A music video created by Jason Galea accompanied its release on YouTube.[49]

Mackenzie confirmed on 7 December 2017 that the fifth and final album to be released in 2017 would be coming "very, very late in the year".[50] Two singles were digitally released less than a week later: "All is Known," which had previously been performed live; and "Beginner's Luck," an entirely new song.[51][52] On 30 December, the band posted on Facebook that Gumboot Soup, their fifth and final album of the year, would be released the following day.[53] Mackenzie explained in an interview that the songs on Gumboot Soup are "definitely not B-sides or anything. They’re more songs that didn’t work in any of the rest of the four records, or they didn’t fit into any of those categories that well, or they came together slightly after when those records came together."[54]

Band members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
AUS
[55]
12 Bar Bruise
  • Released: 7 September 2012
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT001)
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette
Eyes Like the Sky
  • Released: 22 February 2013
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT005)
  • Formats: CD, LP
Float Along – Fill Your Lungs
  • Released: 27 September 2013
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT006), Dot Dash Recordings (DASH024CD)
  • Formats: LP, CD
Oddments
  • Released: 7 March 2014
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT009)
  • Formats: CD, LP
I'm in Your Mind Fuzz
  • Released: 31 October 2014
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT012), Heavenly Records (HVNLP109CD)
  • Formats: CD, LP
85
Quarters!
  • Released: 1 May 2015
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT015), Heavenly Records (HVNLP114)
  • Formats: CD, LP
99
Paper Mâché Dream Balloon
  • Released: 13 November 2015
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT023CD), Heavenly Records (HVNLP124)
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette
89
Nonagon Infinity
  • Released: 29 April 2016
  • Label: Flightless Records (FLT025CD), Heavenly Records (HVNLP127), ATO Records (AT00301)
  • Formats: CD, LP
19
Flying Microtonal Banana
  • Released: 24 February 2017
  • Label: Flightless Records, Heavenly Records, ATO Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
2
Murder of the Universe
  • Released: 23 June 2017
  • Label: Flightless Records, Heavenly Records, ATO Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
3
Sketches of Brunswick East (with Mild High Club)
  • Released: 18 August 2017
  • Label: Flightless Records, Heavenly Records, ATO Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette
4
Polygondwanaland
  • Released: 17 November 2017
  • Label: Self Release
  • Formats: free digital download, LP, CD
Gumboot Soup
  • Released: 31 December 2017
  • Label: Flightless Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
6
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Extended plays[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Sleep / Summer" (2010)
  • "Hey There / Ants & Bats" (2010)
  • "Black Tooth" (2011)
  • "Bloody Ripper" (2012)
  • "Head On / Pill" (2014)
  • "Cellophane / The Wholly Ghost" (2014)
  • "Slow Jam 1" (2015)
  • "The River" (2015)
  • "Trapdoor" (2015)
  • "Bone" (2016)
  • "Gamma Knife" (2016)
  • "People-Vultures" (2016)
  • "Mr. Beat" (2016)
  • "Rattlesnake" (2017)
  • "Nuclear Fusion" (2017)
  • "Sleep Drifter" (2017)
  • "Crumbling Castle" (2017)
  • "Beginner's Luck" (2017)
  • "All Is Known" (2017)
  • "Greenhouse Heat Death" (2017)
  • "The Last Oasis" (2017)[56]

Music videos[edit]

  • "Dead Beat"
  • "Danger $$$"
  • "Bloody Ripper"
  • "Sam Cherry's Last Shot"
  • "MUCKRAKER"
  • "NEIN"
  • "Eyes Like The Sky (Trailer)"
  • "Head On/Pill (Live Clip)"
  • "30 Past 7"
  • "I'm Not A Man Unless I Have A Woman"
  • "Vegemite"
  • "Hot Wax"
  • "Cellophane"
  • "Satan Speeds Up"
  • "Slow Jam"
  • "The River"
  • "Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (Promo)"
  • "Trapdoor"
  • "Robot Stop"
  • "Gamma Knife"
  • "People Vultures"
  • "Invisible Face"
  • "Rattlesnake"
  • "Han Tyumi & The Murder of The Universe"
  • "The Lord of Lightning vs Balrog"
  • "Countdown" (with Mild High Club)
  • "Crumbling Castle"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Hann. "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: I'm in Your Mind Fuzz review | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  2. ^ Patrick Emery. "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: album more than a procession of songs". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  3. ^ Clayton-Lea, Tony (21 June 2017). "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe – prog-rock walks the earth once more". The Irish Times. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  4. ^ Adams, Will (13 March 2017). "Top 10 best King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard songs". AXS. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  5. ^ a b "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard". FasterLouder. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  6. ^ "Willoughby's Beach EP, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  7. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard: Willoughby's Beach | Beat Magazine". www.beat.com.au. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  8. ^ "12 Bar Bruise, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  9. ^ "Album Review: King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard '12 Bar Bruise' | Purple Sneakers". Purple Sneakers. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  10. ^ a b "Eyes Like The Sky, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  11. ^ "ALBUM REVIEW: King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard 'Eyes Like The Sky' | Purple Sneakers". Purple Sneakers. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  12. ^ "Float Along - Fill Your Lungs, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  13. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard : Float Along – Fill Your Lungs | Beat Magazine". www.beat.com.au. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  14. ^ "Oddments, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  15. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Oddments". FasterLouder. 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  16. ^ "Album Review: King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Oddments (2014 LP) | the AU review". the AU review. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  17. ^ "I'm In Your Mind Fuzz, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  18. ^ Canal Cascais (2015-01-19), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard | Vodafone Mexefest 2014, Portugal, retrieved 2017-02-08 
  19. ^ "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Enter Your Mind Fuzz". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  20. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: I'm in Your Mind Fuzz Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  21. ^ "Quarters!, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  22. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard* - Quarters!". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  23. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's 'Quarters!' Reviewed In Quarters". www.tonedeaf.com.au. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  24. ^ a b c "Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  25. ^ Hann, Michael (2015-11-19). "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Paper Mâché Dream Balloon review – mellow, defuzzed psychedelia". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  26. ^ Flightless (2015-11-10), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Trapdoor, retrieved 2017-07-21 
  27. ^ "ATO Welcomes King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard! – ATO RECORDS". atorecords.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21. 
  28. ^ Tim Sendra. "Nonagon Infinity - King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  29. ^ "Pre-Order New King Gizzard Album "Nonagon Infinity", Watch "Gamma Knife" Music Video – ATO RECORDS". atorecords.com. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  30. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – "Gamma Knife" Video (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  31. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard Premiere "People-Vultures"". The FADER. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  32. ^ Flightless (2016-05-06), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - People-Vultures (Official Video), retrieved 2017-07-21 
  33. ^ Berman, Stuart. "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-08-03. 
  34. ^ Milton, Jamie (16 November 2017). "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard on making the world’s first release-your-own album", NME. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  35. ^ "Making our 10th album in the studio we built". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-11-01. 
  36. ^ "Shuga Records - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Flying Microtonal Banana". Shuga Records. Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  37. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Talk New Album, 'Flying Microtonal Banana'", Guitar World. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  38. ^ Flightless (2016-11-10), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Rattlesnake (Official Video), retrieved 2017-01-18 
  39. ^ Flightless (2016-12-21), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Nuclear Fusion (Official Audio), retrieved 2017-01-18 
  40. ^ Flightless (2017-01-17), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Sleep Drifter (Official Audio), retrieved 2017-01-18 
  41. ^ Flightless (2016-11-10), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Rattlesnake (Official Video), retrieved 2017-07-21 
  42. ^ "MURDER OF THE UNIVERSE • New Album June 23". kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com. Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  43. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Murder Of The Universe (Altered Beast Edition) PRE-ORDER". Flightless Records. Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  44. ^ "King Gizzard Announces New Album 'Murder of the Universe' out June 23rd. Watch 360 Degree Live Performance – ATO RECORDS". atorecords.com. Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  45. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Murder Of The Universe". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  46. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard "The Lord Of Lightning" 04/17/17". TeamCoco. Retrieved 2017-07-21. 
  47. ^ a b "King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Surprise Release New Album: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  48. ^ "POLYGONDWANALAND". 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  49. ^ Flightless (2017-10-18), King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Crumbling Castle, retrieved 2017-12-12 
  50. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Give Update On Fifth & Final Album For 2017". Music Feeds. 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2017-12-08. 
  51. ^ Bruwier, Niels (2017-12-12). "Nieuwe singles King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – "Beginners Luck" & "All Is Known"" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  52. ^ Jenke, Tyler (2017-12-13). "King Gizzard have just dropped two brand new singles". Retrieved 2017-12-14. 
  53. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  54. ^ Gwee, Karen (6 December 2017). "Band of the Year King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, and Don’t Need to Stop", Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  55. ^ Australian charts:
  56. ^ "King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 16 April 2018. 

External links[edit]