Flying Microtonal Banana by King Gizzard and The Lizard WizardRelease date: February 24, 2017
This year King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard are endeavouring to release five albums and the first to leave the gates is Flying Microtonal Banana. The album is a dashing collection of easy-going psyche pop-rock tracks that will please weirdos and indie fans alike and will hopefully be a fitting introduction to the group for newcomers as a result. Although, I’d warn you there’s four more of these coming and I doubt any of them will tread the same ground twice…to me, that’s incredibly exciting.
‘Rattlesnake’ opens the album and immediately reminds me more of the earlier work of bands like The Strokes and Biffy Clyro than it does the usual suspects I’d imagine influencing a King Gizzard album. I wanna stress that Biffy Clyro are now the worst band in the world since selling out after Puzzle or I guess on Puzzle, I still like that album but some of it is shit and the vast majority of their output afterwards was a horrendous betrayal of the path they set themselves out on in albums like Infinity Land and The Vertigo of Bliss. But, I digress, this album should be palatable to the folks who call Goat psyche and appreciated by all the people who call Goat folk-pop, does that make sense? Fuck it, it’s a good song in any case.
The entrancing chants and sprawling jazzy psyche interludes carry over into ‘Melting’ which boasts a world-treading instrumental channeling old school street music and whacked-out commune jams into a seamless passage of music dazzling the listener in the first half of the record. The charge seems to carry through as one seamless trip akin to Dawn of Midi’s Dysnomia until the breakdown of ‘Sleep Drifter’ briefly sees a relent in the focused surge of the album’s first half.
‘Billabong Valley’ is the first track on the second half of the album, starting with a strange vocal hook that immediately grabs the listener, it’s possibly the most engrossing and hypnotic track on the album. ‘Anoxia’ benefit’s from Billabong’s spell-binding sound by acting as an unexpected jolt of bold drums and delectable riffs. It’s weird, in that it feels like an electrified continuation in many ways, the fluidity of the album really is one of its greatest strengths.
‘Doom City’ marks another departure on the album; it’s got an odd sense of piss-taking tongue-in-cheek humour about it as though the band are mocking the clumsy, seriousness of the doom genre with an Alex Turner-esque permutation of their own sound. Here the album’s delightful surge returns and carries over to the final, titular track. ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ resurrects the motif of the album for one last burst, encapsulating the sound of the album through its signature tones and melodies; one last circle round the sun, one more day tripping in the desert, one more stellar psyche track with a catchy framework.
Overall, the fluidity of this album is its strength and arguably it’s weakness, this is a great album to enjoy as one cohesive whole but as brilliant as it is, I have a hard time picking out the songs from memory alone which for some people would be a problem; for me, it’s suggests that listeners should buy the LP.