Sketches of Brunswick East

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Sketches of Brunswick East
KGLW Sketches-artwork.jpg
Studio album by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard with Mild High Club
Released 18 August 2017 (2017-08-18)
Studio Flightless HQ, East Brunswick
Genre
Length 37:19
Label
Producer Stu Mackenzie
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard chronology
Murder of the Universe
(2017)
Sketches of Brunswick East
(2017)
Polygondwanaland
(2017)
Mild High Club chronology
Skiptracing
(2016) Skiptracing2016
Sketches of Brunswick East
(2017) Sketches of Brunswick East2017

Sketches of Brunswick East is the eleventh studio album by Australian psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, and the third by Mild High Club. The title is a reference to the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick East and Miles Davis' 1960 LP Sketches of Spain, which inspired the album's jazz-orientated sound. It was released on 18 August 2017 by Flightless Records in Australia,[1][2] ATO Records in the United States, and Heavenly Recordings in the United Kingdom. It is the third of five albums released by the band in 2017.[3][4]

The album is a collaboration with Mild High Club, and is prominently jazz-based.[3]

It was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the ARIA Music Awards of 2017.

Background and conception[edit]

The album was conceived just after the release of Flying Microtonal Banana and the completion of Murder of the Universe, the band's first and second releases in 2017. At that point, ideas for the next three albums were discussed, with one (presumably Sketches of Brunswick East) said to be in a "state of coming together," while the other two were "sort of distant at the moment."[5]

Stu Mackenzie stated in an interview that the collaboration with Mild High Club came about because Alex Brettin, the sole member of the band, played at King Gizzard's own Gizzfest in December 2016. Afterward, Brettin stayed at Mackenzie's house for a few weeks, during which they came up with ideas that he has since described as "really, really vague." The two recorded a handful of iPhone voice memos to share with each other, which they ended up calling sketches: hence the album title. Mackenzie later stated that the album was recorded in three weeks.[3]

The album's title was leaked in the Heavenly Recordings album biography for Murder of the Universe. The title alludes to Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain as a musical influence.[6]

"Mostly they were just a chord progression or some melodic part with a chord thing underneath it. It was just simple stuff. They really were just jump off points, and when we finally got together, we sort of fleshed these songs out together."

—Stu Mackenzie[3]

The track “Rolling Stoned” was first shown in a live performance by the Mild High Club featuring Stu Mackenzie almost two years before this album was even known to exist. The song was taken directly off a segment from the song "The Chat", which appears in Mild High Club's first album Timeline.[7]

The album was first played in its entirety on August 18, 2017 on a Facebook live stream. The album was then available for purchase an hour after the start of the stream.[8]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic79/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
Clash8/10[11]
Loud and Quiet7/10[12]
Pitchfork7.5/10[13]
Record Collector4/5 stars[14]

Sketches of Brunswick East 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 "It's fun to hear Gizzard being reshaped by Brettin's soft rock wizardry, and in the process making their third album of the year the most listenable so far. Conversely, working with the Australian wildmen gives Brettin's work an unpredictable nature not found on Mild High Club albums. This mutual benefaction means Sketches of Brunswick East is a collaboration that works wonders for both sides and will also make fans of both groups very happy."[10] Pitchfork Contributor Saby Reyes-Kulkarni also felt the collaboration between both bands was a success, stating "Brunswick East amounts to way more than just a hybrid of two signature styles, or even a mere consolidation of each party’s respective strengths. When Brettin forays into 1970s AM tropes on his own, he can come off as if he’s being ironic, the line between sincere homage and smirking ridicule as hard to gauge as the commentary on, say, a podcast about yacht-rock. But when working around Brettin’s ideas, Mackenzie and his bandmates never linger too long in any one genre. As a result, the songs on Brunswick East have an endearing mutant-like quality about them that, for the most part, prevents them from turning into revivalist clichés."[13]

Track listing[edit]

Track listing adapted from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's Bandcamp listing of the album.[15]

Side one of LP release
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Sketches of Brunswick East I"
  • Stu Mackenzie
  • Alex Brettin
1:20
2."Countdown"
  • Mackenzie
  • Brettin
  • Michael Cavanagh
3:22
3."D-Day"Mackenzie1:39
4."Tezeta"Joey Walker3:30
5."Cranes, Planes, Migraines"
  • Walker
  • Mackenzie
1:15
6."The Spider and Me"
  • Mackenzie
  • Brettin
3:16
7."Sketches of Brunswick East II"
  • Mackenzie
  • Brettin
3:25
Side two of LP release
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
8."Dusk to Dawn on Lygon Street"
  • Cook Craig
  • Mackenzie
  • Brettin
3:02
9."The Book"Mackenzie5:00
10."A Journey to (S)hell"
  • Mackenzie
  • Walker
2:16
11."Rolling Stoned"Brettin3:18
12."You Can Be Your Silhouette"Mackenzie3:48
13."Sketches of Brunswick East III"
  • Mackenzie
  • Brettin
2:08
Total length:37:20

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Sketches of Brunswick East adapted from liner notes.[16]

Mild High Club

  • Alex Brettin - electric piano (tracks 2, 6-8), synthesizers (tracks 2, 5, 7, 9), bass guitar (tracks 2, 8, 12), electric guitar (tracks 8, 10, 13), microtonal synthesizers (tracks 3, 5), optigan (tracks 3, 7), organ (tracks 4, 12), acoustic piano (track 1), electronic drum kit (track 7); additional overdubbing, mixing (track 2)
  • Andrew Burt – guitar (track 11)

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

  • Stu Mackenzie – mellotron (tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13), vocals (track 2, 3, 6, 9, 12), bass guitar (tracks 1, 4, 7, 8, 13), flute (tracks 1 4, 7, 11, 13), wah-wah guitar (tracks 2, 6, 11, 12), electric piano (tracks 1, 7), acoustic guitar (tracks 4, 12), microtonal guitar (track 3), glass marimbas (track 5), microtonal organ (track 9), synthesizers (track 11), piano (track 11), electric guitar (track 13); recording, mixing (tracks 1, 3-13), production
  • Joey Walker – bass guitar (tracks 5, 6, 9, 10), shaker (tracks 3, 4), synthesizers (tracks 4, 5), microtonal bass guitar (track 3), glass marimbas (track 4), acoustic guitar (track 4), vocals (track 4), electric guitar (track 4), omnichord (track 11), piano (track 11), bongos (track 12), güiro (track 12); additional overdubbing
  • Michael Cavanagh – drum kit 1 (all tracks), bongos (tracks 1-5, 7-9, 11, 13), drum kit 2 (track 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9-13), floor toms (tracks 1, 3, 7, 9, 13), maracas (tracks 1, 7, 11, 13), cowbell (tracks 4, 5, 9), snare brushes (tracks 1, 8), vibraslap (tracks 1, 8), tambourine (tracks 3, 9)
  • Cook Craig – electric guitar (tracks 1, 4, 5, 8, 9), fretless bass guitar (track 8, 11), vocals (track 8), synthesizers (track 8), bass guitar (track 11); additional overdubbing
  • Lucas Skinner – electric piano (tracks 2, 4, 6, 9), mellotron (tracks 2, 6), piano (track 11); additional overdubbing
  • Ambrose Kenny-Smith – harmonica (tracks 10-12), vocals (track 6)
  • Eric Moore – drum kit 2 (track 4)

Additional personnel

  • Joseph Carra – mastering
  • Jason Galea – artwork and layout
  • Jamie Wdziekonski - photography

Charts[edit]

Weekly[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[17] 4
Australian Jazz and Blues Albums (ARIA)[18] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[19] 183
Dutch Vinyl Albums (Vinyl 33)[20] 14
New Zealand Heatseeker Albums (RMNZ)[21] 9
United Kingdom Midweek Albums (Official Charts Company)[22] 96
United Kingdom Independent Albums (Official Charts Company)[23] 21
United States Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[24] 7
United States Independent Albums (Billboard)[25] 29
United States Rock Albums Sales (Billboard)[26] 39

Year-end[edit]

Chart (2017) Rank
Australian Jazz and Blues Albums (ARIA)[27] 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "On a parlé d'inventions folles, de musique turque et de sommeil avec King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard". Konbini France. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's Sketches Of Brunswick East Is Out In A Few Weeks". Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Friedmann, Christopher (22 June 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Talk "Murder Of The Universe" – ARTISTdirect Interviews". Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Joffe, Justin (12 April 2017). "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard on Their Batshit, Brilliant New Album". The Observer. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  6. ^ "Full Heavenly Album Information Leak + Track List". Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Mild High Club - Rolling Stoned (feat. Stu from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard)". Retrieved 11 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard With Mild High Club - Sketches Of Brunswick Live Stream". Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  9. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/music/sketches-of-brunswick-east/king-gizzard-the-lizard-wizard
  10. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Sketches of Brunswick East Album Review - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard | Songs, Reviews, Credits". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  11. ^ Egan, Liam. "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Sketches Of Brunswick East". clashmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-10-12. 
  12. ^ Butchard, Stephen. "Sketches Of Brunswick East - Review". loudandquiet.com. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  13. ^ a b Reyes-Kulkarni, Saby. "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Sketches of Brunswick East Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  14. ^ Moores, JR. "Various Artists – Psych* Collector". Record Collector. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  15. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard With Mild High Club - Sketches Of Brunswick East". Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  16. ^ Track listing and credits as per liner notes for Sketches of Brunswick East album
  17. ^ "Australiancharts.com – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Sketches of Brunswick East". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  18. ^ "ARIA Jazz and Blues Albums Chart". ARIA Charts. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Sketches of Brunswick East" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  20. ^ "King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard & Mild High Club – Sketches Of Brunswick East" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  21. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Update Top 100". Official Charts Company. 16–22 October 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. 20–26 October 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  24. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard Chart History". Billboard Heatseekers Albums. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  25. ^ "King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard Chart History". Billboard Independent Albums. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Billboard biz". Billboard. Click "Charts," and in the title field, search "Sketches of Brunswick East." Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  27. ^ "End Of Year Jazz and Blues Albums 2017". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 12 August 2018.