Polygondwanaland

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Polygondwanaland
Polygondwanaland.jpg
Studio album by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Released 17 November 2017 (2017-11-17)
Studio
  • Flightless HQ
  • Tender Trap Studios, Melbourne ("Crumbling Castle" and "The Fourth Colour")
Genre
Length 43:54
Label Various
Producer Stu Mackenzie
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard chronology
Sketches of Brunswick East
(2017)
Polygondwanaland
(2017)
Gumboot Soup
(2017)
Singles from Polygondwanaland
  1. "Crumbling Castle"
    Released: 18 October 2017

Polygondwanaland is the twelfth studio album by Australian psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. The album was released under an open source licence—the band did not sell copies of the album, but uploaded the master tapes online for anyone to use. It was released on 17 November 2017. It was the fourth of five albums released by the band in 2017.[1][2]

Background and conception[edit]

Polygondwanaland first appeared as a partial leak on the band's demos for the album. The leak was uploaded to SoundCloud, but was soon taken down. As a result, news of the album was scarce and mostly involved rumors, one of which stated that it would be the last of the five albums released in 2017.

The track "Crumbling Castle," which appeared on the demo, was performed live by the band as early as September 2016, albeit in a much shorter form.[3] However, it lay dormant for many months during an especially prolific period for the band, leading to speculation that the track might have been scrapped. Both the track and the music video were finally released on 18 October 2017, exactly one year after the first performance of the song was uploaded to YouTube.[4] The legitimacy of the demos were all but confirmed at this point, as not only did the track feature the album's name in the lyrics, but it also contained lengthy musical passages equal in duration to the demo.

Polygondwanaland was officially announced on the band's Facebook page on 14 November 2017. The release date and cover art were publicized by the band, who stated, "This album is FREE. Free as in, free," encouraging fans to make their own copies and bootlegs of the album. The band said that they would not be selling the album in any shape or form, even going so far as to put the master tapes online (including a vinyl master) for free use.[5]

On the day of the announcement, multiple labels announced they would be producing their own physical copies of the album. Among these were ATO Records, Blood Music, Fuzz Cult Records and Greenway Records. Fans also started crowdfunding campaigns on sites like Facebook and Kickstarter to produce their own versions of the album.

The album was uploaded to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music on 18 November 2017.

The album's title is a portmanteau of the words polygon and Gondwana (which is sometimes known as "Gondwanaland").

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork7.2/10

Polygondwanaland was generally well received by professional music critics upon its initial release. In a 4 out of 5 star review for AllMusic, writer Tim Sendra claimed "Hearing them incorporate all the different sonic flourishes they've employed in the past in pursuit of good songs and not some higher concept means the album may slip past unnoticed, but it will sound great to anyone not scared off by the lack of theatrics. Tracks like the spookily restrained "Searching," the rampaging "The Fourth Colour," the tribal "The Castle in the Air," or the thrumming title track are the work of a band in full command of their process and results."[7]

Pitchfork gave the album a score of 7.2/10[8] and ranked it 17th in their list of the 20 best rock albums of 2017.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Track titles adapted from diymag.com[10]

All tracks written by Stu Mackenzie[7].

No.TitleLength
1."Crumbling Castle"10:46
2."Polygondwanaland"3:33
3."The Castle in the Air"2:48
4."Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet"3:34
5."Inner Cell"3:56
6."Loyalty"3:39
7."Horology"2:52
8."Tetrachromacy"3:31
9."Searching..."3:04
10."The Fourth Colour"6:13
Total length:43:54

Personnel[edit]

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

  • Michael Cavanagh – drums (tracks 1-8), percussion (tracks 1, 2, 3, 8, 10), glass marimba (track 1)
  • Cook Craig – electric guitar (tracks 1, 8, 10), synthesizers (tracks 9, 10)
  • Ambrose Kenny-Smith – harmonica (tracks 1, 3, 8, 10), vocals (tracks 8, 10)
  • Stu Mackenzie – vocals (all tracks), electric guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 10), bass guitar (tracks 1, 3-7, 9), acoustic guitar (tracks 2, 4, 8-10), synthesizers (all tracks), flute (tracks 1-3, 5-8), glass marimba (track 1), mellotron (tracks 2, 4), percussion (track 9)
  • Eric Moore – management (all tracks)
  • Lucas Skinner – bass guitar (track 10), synthesizer (track 7)
  • Joey Walker – electric guitar (tracks 1, 3, 5-7, 10), acoustic guitar (tracks 3, 5), bass guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 8), synthesizers (tracks 5-7, 9, 10), vocals (tracks 1-8, 10), percussion (tracks 1-3, 5, 7, 8, 10)

Additional musicians

  • Leah Senior – spoken word (track 3)

Production

  • Casey Hartnett – recording (tracks 2, 5, 7, 8)
  • Stu Mackenzie – recording (tracks 6, 9), additional recording, production
  • Ryan K. Brennan – recording (tracks 1, 10)
  • Joey Walker – additional recording
  • Sam Joseph – mixing
  • Joe Carra – mastering
  • Jason Galea – artwork and layout

References[edit]

  1. ^ Friedmann, Christopher (22 June 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Talk "Murder Of The Universe" – ARTISTdirect Interviews". Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Perry, Kevin EG (12 November 2016). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: can the psych band release five albums in one year?". Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD - CRUMBLING CASTLES (Electric Brixtol, London)". 18 October 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Crumbling Castle". 18 October 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "POLYGONDWANALAND". 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  6. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/music/polygondwanaland/king-gizzard-the-lizard-wizard
  7. ^ a b c Sendra, Tim. "Polygondwanaland – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  8. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygondwanaland Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  9. ^ "The 20 Best Rock Albums of 2017". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  10. ^ "KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'POLYGONDWANALAND'". 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.