King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is a name I've heard plenty before and I was going to check out their material sooner or later, so what better way is there than starting it off with this new release called "K.G."?
This record is absolutely insane with its genre-bending and element fusing extravaganza that is constantly mutating throughout the tracklist, but yet it seldomly manages to fall a little short with its experimentations and doesn't fully develop its concepts.
The intro "K.G.L.W." was the perfect start for this project as it was a way to anticipate and give a sneek peek to the listener of what was yet to come. It really set an eerie and mysterious tone that was enlarged as the album kept progressing.
There's a great deal of different types of instrumentation - some tracks are accompanied by absolutely ferocious guitar riffs, others are a little more calm and are on the verge of culminating into folk and others don't really commit to either and end up sitting in an uncomfortable midpoint.
Granted that I didn't mind a single song off of this record and that's definitely a plus that it has going for it but I definitely found that, despite this record's genius variety of sounds, some songs played it way too safe and don't impress in many aspects even though they build up to being solid cuts. They are just a little too run-of-the-mill for my liking and don't demonstrate to be up to par with some of the other monstrous tunes. A good example of this is "Oddlife".
The subdued vocal perfomance of this band's main vocalist creates a hypnotizing sound for the entire album, even when it is paired with not so psychedelic instrumentation, but it could've clearly varied much more to adapt to the different sounds of the LP. Especially on some of the heavier tracks, the vocals end up functioning sort of as a secondary instrument more than its main force and they can leave a much lackluster feel. Occasionally, the mind-bending and complex instrumentality of the project packed with various layers can be certainly overbearing in comparison to the gloomy vocals. The tracks that are a lot more imbrued in psychedelic roots manage to match the lead singer a lot more, as sometimes it feels as if he's not even singing and just floating over the textures, and that does spawn a compelling atmosphere that is enhanced by catchy melodies that are actually quite common on this LP, especially in the first half of the album. I was surprise by how catchy this turned out to be.
No matter what accompanies the vocalist, he's always keen to cover touchier subjects and incorporate self-reflective lyricism, originating a deeper layer to the LP that can be overshadowed at first glance due to how much is always happening in each song.
The biggest positive is how wildly varied it feels, really no song sticks to the same categorization or theme, yet the entire album feels like an extremely cohesive listening experience. It's impressive how we can have tunes as vastly different as "Automation", that's an heavy and eerie psychedelic rock tune, and "Intrasport", which sounds like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard's take on the so rejuvenated disco, that has been making a comeback all over 2020 and have them make sense within the same album.
Seamless transitions appear throughout the LP and make it almost feel like numerous tracks are intertwined. The closer "The Hungry Wolf Of Fate" absolutely brought it home, I really enjoyed how, after a few mellower tracks, we're hit with the sudden, abrupt, colossal guitar riff and with that, this gigantic rollercoaster ride is ended on a high note.
Favorite tracks: Automation, Minimum Brain Size, Straws In The Wind, Some Of Us, Intrasport, Honey and The Hungry Wolf Of Fate.
Least favorite tracks: Oddlife.