King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland

The fourth album from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard of this year, Polygondwanaland, is special for a couple reasons.  One, to repeat the earlier point, is that it’s the fourth album they’ve put out this year.  Many bands don’t put out four albums in a lifetime, let alone four in one year…with another one yet to come before the year’s end.  Second, is that they are giving away this album for free.

Yes, you can download this album for free and, according to the band, use the tracks for anything you’d like.  Many indie labels have already created their own rare pressings of the album on vinyl.  KGATLW have stated that anyone can use the songs for their film, art projects, mix tapes, remix albums, or any other use.  It’s a stunning gift to fans and the world at large.

The album is a neat mix of the many sounds KGATLW create.  The opener, “Crumbling Castle,” is an epic song just under eleven minutes long that exemplifies the band’s cosmic psychedelia with echoed vocals, microtonal guitars, perfect double-drumming, and tricky guitar work.  The title track is mellower and almost hypnotizing, as is “The Castle in the Air” with Stu MacKenzie‘s flute work.

“Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet” and “Inner Cell” are equally haunting, especially the latter with its lyrics speaking of the dead, ghosts, and shadows.  The bass line on “Loyalty” is one of the best KGATLW have put on a track all year.  “Horology” and “Tetrachromacy” are neat companion pieces to each other with their complimentary guitar pieces and tick-tock drumming.  The building groove of “Searching…” is outstanding, and the entire track simmers with synth wave menace that is new to KGATLW’s sound.  I hope they explore more of this on the next record.  It flows right into the album’s closer, “The Fourth Color,” which is a sizzling jam on all fronts – especially when it comes back from a fake fade-out.

Is this as good as the three previous releases from KGATLW so far?  No, but it is still an excellent piece of work and is reminiscent of some of the band’s earlier material.  This isn’t a bad place to start if you’re just now walking into the KGATLW camp.  It blends many of their styles well.

Keep your mind open.

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Nik Havert

I've been a music fan since my parents gave me a record player for Christmas when I was still in grade school. The first record I remember owning was "Sesame Street Disco." I've been a professional writer since 2004, but writing long before that. My first published work was in a middle school literary magazine and was a story about a zoo in which the animals could talk.

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