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King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard create a soundscape of desolation on Flying Microtonal Banana

"Flying Microtonal Banana"

King Gizzard Flying Banana
16 February 2017, 20:50 Written by Jessica Goodman
Given that the world seems to be getting more and more insane by the day, a soundtrack to the end of it all feels oddly fitting considering the climate we find ourselves in.

Cue King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, with their first of five (yes, five) new records to see release this year. With artwork depicting a hazmat suit and toxic waste, and track titles like "Doom City" and "Nuclear Fusion", the outlook is pretty bleak from the offset.

If Nonagon Infinity was a life-threatening electric shock, Flying Microtonal Banana is the aftermath. Opening track "Rattlesnake" bridges the worlds of the two with ease, incessant momentum and coarse refrains introducing the record with a decidedly tongue in cheek sense of humour. Gusts of wind surge through the track, blowing away the debris and setting the scene for something entirely more desolate.

Detailing a world ravaged and made barren over bubbling guitar lines and chirpy synth melodies on "Melting", the prolific Australian septet keep things decidedly off kilter. On an album created using a wholly new way of tuning, that sense of dislocation is something that runs rife. Whether its the breathy vocals on "Sleep Drifter", the undercurrent of menace in the driving refrains of "Open Water", the strident wallop of "Doom City", or something else entirely, the world of Flying Microtonal Banana retains a constant air of unease and inversion.

But it's not entirely doom and gloom. "Nuclear Fusion" remains a part of the same darkness, but that doesn't stop it from presenting the outfit at their most danceable, toe-tapping body-shaking rhythms a constant companion. "Billabong Valley" might still be tinged with disaster, but with racing piano melodies, soaring zurna lines, and Ambrose Kenny-Smith taking over vocal duties, the result is a song that resounds with romanticism and a western swagger.

There's no telling where King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard will go from here (though, honestly, is there ever?), but with an entirely new dexterity established through a new method of tuning, the next world they create seems only set to be bigger and bolder.

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