my expectations for king gizzard and the lizard wizard are high and wide, yet i was completely shocked to hear their new endeavor ‘butterfly 3000’.
i struggled to understand the microtonal works of this group, so their last two studio albums - ‘k.g.’ and ‘l.w.’ - hadn’t really met my personal standard for king gizzard and the lizard wizard. thus, i simply wasn’t expecting too much when i pressed play on this album; i was totally wrong in approaching this work with a lack of anticipation or preparation.
going into ‘butterfly 3000’, i didn’t know what to expect. the group’s choice to not release any singles proved essential in my reaction to the album. in retrospect, that was a bold decision: not releasing any singles on gizz’s most poppy, single ready album. ‘butterfly 3000’ has many songs which would have been great singles: “killer year 2.02”, “butterfly 3000”, “shanghai”, “catching smoke”, even “black hot soup”. all of these tracks could have easily served the group in promoting the popularity and sound of the album. instead, the surprise of ‘butterfly 3000’ brings one to a state of fascination.
king gizzard and the lizard wizard went full mass-appeal/redemption mode on their eighteenth studio album. the band ventures into what is arguably their poppiest sound yet, and each track is noticeably distinct.
the first five tracks are great, and while some parts (namely “dreams”) disappoint, each track is solid and extravagant.
“blue morpho” is one of the standouts of the album. it sees king gizzard and the lizard wizard pursuing house music and succeeding in creating a dope, fresh sound for the band.
side two is the amazing, mind-expanding section of ‘butterfly 3000’. the final five songs show nonstop consistency and drive from king gizzard and the lizard wizard.
the melody of “catching fire” is stunning. it demonstrates the newfound popiness of the band.
“shanghai” is another great example of a new pop approach from the group, as the band can even sound like jack stauber.
king gizzard have the ability to sound like the best contemporaries of whatever genre they momentarily tackle. whether sounding akin to radiohead on “blue morpho”, tame impala on “2.02 killer year”, the 1975 on “catching smoke”, two door cinema club on “2.02 killer year”, or foxygen on “ya love”, king gizzard and the lizard wizard have shown variety and diversity within their approach.
i believe, and ‘butterfly 3000’ helps prove, that king gizzard and the lizard wizard are one of the best music groups to ever exist.
the drumming throughout ‘butterfly 3000’ leaves little to no gaps, as there are fills and notes hit during basically every opportunity. even with the departure of their second drummer, king gizzard and the lizard wizard’s now lone drummer - michael cavanagh - has stepped up to the plate and hit us with some skilled passages.
overall, i am taken aback by ‘butterfly 3000’. this work is one of, if not the singular, most accessible album by king gizzard and the lizard wizard.
suffice it to say that this brand of music and style of tunes sound vastly different than any of king gizzard’s previous foray’s into any genre. it’s psychaedelic, and pop, but it is not exactly psych-pop by any means. this distinction helps stabilize the music and focus the project.
favorites: “2.02 killer year”, “catching smoke”, “shanghai”, “blue morpho”, “ya love”, “butterfly 3000”.