AOTY 2023
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - L.W.
Feb 26, 2021
Even this deep into the band's discography, and it's hard not to be absolutely flawed by King Gizzard's tenacity when releasing music. The mountains of great ideas have expanded so deeply, it's amazing that there are any left at this point. Still, seventeen albums deep, and the third microtonal experimentation instalment is released. Piggybacking off of the sounds from both Flying Microtonal Banana and K.G., L.W. serves as a continued exploration into off-kilter rhythms and rarely-heard tones. And while in the past this has led to some amazing new directions for psych-rock, on their third attempt, the band does seem to circle back around and treat the same thematic direction they did with the series' first two projects. Yes, unlike so many genres King Gizzard has dabbled with, on L.W. they once again try and reinvent the microtonal wheel, and while definitely not as lacking as some of their other, more out there experiments (Sketches of Brunswick East, Murder of the Universe), it's the weakest of the three interconnected projects.

Where iconic tracks like Melting, Open Water and Billabong Valley pushed the boundary of psych with strange, but uniquely compelling, forays with odd sounds, by comparison, the opener, Ataraxia East West Link and See Me suffer due to a distinct lack of melodic direction, while re-hashing the concepts that were better understood four years ago. Even the best tracks here hardly showcase new directions with the sound; O.N.E. has extremely confident and cathartic guitar leads by its final moments, but the opening minutes could have kicked off any number of King Gizzard tracks. Pleura has some great contrast dynamics between its choruses and verses and Supreme Ascendancy's unexpected, almost IDM-inspired percussive loop does wonders for the groove of the track, as well housing as one of the best vocal performances on the album, but neither deliver anything all that new for the band.

However, being a King Gizzard record, you can't expect L.W. to not at least have some surprises, and they definitely save the best for last with the incredible stoner rock opus, K.G.L.W. While lyrically scant, the chugging riffs and wailing leads here definitely make up for some of the wasted time on prior tracks, and prove there is gas left in the metal tank after Rats' Nest. It's a great send-off for the album, mimicking and expanding the band's heavier side to an extremely gratifying degree. And while L.W. may not be as fleshed-out as its predecessors, hopefully it serves as a musical palate cleanser to whet our appetite for King Gizzard's return to experimental form on their next release.

Favourite Tracks:

Supreme Ascendancy
Static Electricity
K.G.L.W. (Outro)

Least Favourite Tracks:

If Not Now, Then When?
See Me


Sign in to comment.
More Reviews by DCCXX
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - The Silver Cord
Nov 19, 2023
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Omnium Gatherum
Apr 28, 2022
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Butterfly 3000
Jun 12, 2021
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - K.G.
Nov 20, 2020
Rate and review albums along with the AOTY community. Create an account today.
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
More Reviews

November Playlist