King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard @ John Curtin Hotel

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King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard @ John Curtin Hotel


King Gizzard’s first LP 12 Bar Bruise came out bang-on two years ago. Next month we’ll get album number five, I’m in Your Mind Fuzz (and apparently another one’s already in the bag). This as a standalone fact is pretty impressive. But with such a rapid rollout of content comes the risk of confusing listeners or issuing superfluous releases in order to live up to the ‘prolific’ reputation.

As silly as the band’s name is, and as ridiculous as their extended personnel is, Gizzard don’t do gags. Following the industry rulebook, heeding advice to ‘pace yourselves, wait for the big hit before making your next move,’ isn’t how they roll. Too many bands play the game and, in doing so, sacrifice any real danger or excitement that might’ve been in them. Not only does King Gizzard show no concern for playing along, but they make fucking good music. And to the benefit of us lucky sods, they make a lot of it.   

There’s a blessed spirit of youth running through everything they do. Each successive record has been a noted divergence from its predecessor, but the invocation of classic psych-rock and garage blues is a constant. What sets King Gizzard apart is that, unlike psych-rock also-rans such as Temples, their music doesn’t sound studied. They mightn’t be astonishing innovators, but heck, it’s hard to think of anyone anywhere in the world right now making music with such a bubbling wealth of invigorated ideas. Tonight you could see it – and you could sure as shit feel it – no one gets a bigger kick out of this music than the band itself.

Despite having four incredible and widely embraced records to choose from, the set list focused on songs we haven’t heard yet. What is this – stubbornness? Proof that they’ve moved on from what we think we know about them? No. It’s just where they’re at. Indeed, for this event to be maximum fun – for band and audience – it was essential that they harnessed the magic that’s running through their veins right now.

As far as conventional songwriting goes, this year’s Oddments is perhaps Gizzard’s strongest collection of tunes thus far. The band onstage this evening (except perhaps during Hot Wax and Sleepwalker)was an altogether different beast. What we got was seven seriously switched-on madmen dishing out hypnotizing guitar sounds, rib-bruising rhythms and maniacal group falsetto mantras. Their music mightn’t necessitate having seven members, but that’s hardly the point. King Gizzard is as much a gang as it is a band and their blasting strength is the result of seven bodies, united in their attack. 


Photo by Ian Laidlaw


Loved: Damn! The Murlocs got some grooves.

Hated: Nope.

Drank: All of the beer.