Album Review: KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD | NONAGON INFINITY

A compellingly unpredictable fiasco resides in every new King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard album. It should go without saying that these self-proclaimed, “Masters of the Universe” churn out some of the world’s premier freak-psych ridiculousness with now eight albums on the shelf. Nonagon Infinity is the first – and going by track record – mostly likely not the last of 2016 yet still closely following last year’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon.

During the band’s touring commitments of the latter record, the former had already been noted as complete. Not ones to rest on their laurels, King Gizzard clearly don’t settle into one sound with Paper Mâché offering fans stripped back bubblegum-folk – a real treat in the ears of listeners as the group were able to flex their sonic vulnerabilities further. With Nonagon Infinity, however, being labeled as, “a metal record,” with comparisons to Black Sabbath and Metallica already in print, this had me somewhat concerned as King Gizzard were finally breaking molds and showing some maturity in their music.

Kicking into maximum gear right off the bat with Robot Stop, King Gizzard automatically revert back to their now heralded, “more is more” approach by juicing up each track with dense, flavourful guitars and uncategorised blues-rock harmonics. The record easily, and arguably lazily, regressing their I’m In Your Mind Fuzz state of operations by having the band’s rhythm section quickly locking a whirring groove while the guitars and vocals melodically gush within the structure.

While launching into a lackluster opening, the record does manage to garner some stupendous moments like Mr. Beat – a charming Strawberry Alarm Clock-esque keyboard line underplays the track’s excellent melody, allowing a small breather between the chaos. Invisible Face allows the group to diffuse the sonic pandemonium again for a moment to allow for some sharp, slashing psychedelics to experiment with. Album closer Road Train gets the onomatopoeias flying and has King Gizzard devise some momentary decent environmental storytelling through the melody – a process so adored on their sophomore release, Eyes Like the Sky.

Designed to be listened on a continuing loop, Nonagon Infinity hardly invokes the need to listen over-and-over again. All the unpredictability King Gizzard so rightfully gained and accomplished on Paper Mâché is now at a throwaway caused by this record’s compositional fiasco.

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