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Music / King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

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By the time you finish reading this, they'll have put out another two albums. note 


King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is an Australian Psychedelic Rock and Garage Rock band. They were formed in 2010 in Melbourne, and they consist of members Stu Mackenzie (vocals, guitar, wind instruments), Ambrose Kenny Smith (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Cook Craig (guitar), Joey Walker (guitar and vocals), Lucas Skinner (bass), Eric Moore (drums 2010-2020), and Michael Cavanagh (drums). They probably rank among the weirdest bands to ever come out of the Australian psych-rock scene.

They were originally going to be called "Gizzard Gizzard", which was conceived by lead vocalist Stu Mackenzie, but another member of the band wanted the band to be named "Lizard King", as a tribute to Jim Morrison of The Doors. They eventually decided to compromise and name the band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.


They started releasing material in 2010, with 2 singles.. One release from the following year, called Anglesea, was a four track EP released on CD. The three, whilst once unavailable publically, are now available on the Bandcamp-exclusive release: Teenage Gizzard. The second Willoughby's Beach EP, was what got them noticed in Australia, and got them chosen to play at the Meredith Music Festival in December of that year. Around a year later, they would self-record their first full-length album, 12 Bar Bruise. It was inspired by Surf Rock and Garage Rock, with King Gizzard giving those sounds a psychedelic flair. They released it on Bandcamp, so people could stream the entire thing before they buy it.

The band has a lot of time on their hands, and since 2012, they have recorded twenty studio albums, five official live albums, and four EPS, each of which have different sounds, while still sticking to their roots and trademark songwriting motifs. In 2013, they recorded the Spaghetti Western-inspired Eyes Like the Sky, and the album Float Along - Fill Your Lungs, where they went full Psychedelic. They became rather popular in 2014, where they released Oddments and I'm In Your Mind Fuzz, where they would start to become more professional.


In 2015, they started recording Quarters!, a Concept Album that has four songs - each of them lasting 10 minutes and 10 seconds - and containing influences from Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock. Later that year, they would release Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, which was a mostly acoustic album influenced by Folk Rock acts like The Byrds.

In 2016, they released what many considered at the time to be their magnum opus: Nonagon Infinity. It was designed to be an infinitely looping album, containing nine songs that all segue into each other, including the beginning and ending tracks - hence the title of the album. And to add upon its success, they decided to release five more albums in 2017: the first being Flying Microtonal Banana in January, the first in an ongoing series of albums where they experiment with microtones (which are the notes that are in between semitones (e.g. E and F)). This was followed up by Murder of the Universe in June, a Concept Album split into three separate narrated stories, following the same styles as the previous two albums. In August, they released Sketches of Brunswick East, a collaboration with the band Mild High Club, which saw them move away from their sound almost completely and into improvisational psych-jazz. Following this, Polygondwanaland was a psych/prog rock album released in November, and it was put on their website and Bandcamp page for people to download, rip to CDs, press onto vinyl, etc. Finally, the band fulfilled their promise in December 2017 with the release of Gumboot Soup, a Genre Roulette of an album containing songs that didn't quite fit into the other four releases, some resembling their sound and others representing completely new styles for the band.

With a promise of new music in 2019, King Gizzard released a song in late January called "Cyboogie", which details a funkier, synth laden, boogie-rock sound inspired by the likes of Canned Heat, Little Feat, and ZZ Top. This new release, coupled with B-side "Acarine" seemed to confirm a new album, which wasn't officially announced until early March, called Fishing For Fishies, coming out on April 26. Not long after the release of Fishies, they released two new singles: "Planet B" on April 8, and "Self-Immolate" on May , which completely ditches the happy-go-lucky, lighthearted sound of ''Fishies'' in favor of a darker Thrash Metal approach with lyrics about climate change and enviromentalist themes. This was announced on June 21st to be coming from their second album of 2019 Infest the Rats' Nest

In July 2020, they released the first single of the year, "Honey", a return to the microtonal tuning used in Flying Microtonal Banana. In the following months they would release "Some of Us" and "Straws in the Wind", the latter flowing seamlessly into the former. In lieu of simply releasing the next single, "Automation", King Gizzard released the song's stems and plenty of footage for fans to create remixes and custom music videos with. In November they would release the full album K.G., the second volume of their Explorations Into Microtonal Tuning series, alongside the music video for the album's final single, "Intrasport". Not even three weeks would pass before they released an animated music video for a song called "If Not Now Then When", which begins right where the final song from K.G. ends, all but confirming suspicions that a direct sequel to it was on the way.

In 2021, the single for "If Not Now Then When" was quickly followed up with the playful rocker "O.N.E" and the prog-rock heavy "Pleura", accompanied by a music video recorded and edited in the 24 hours before the single was released. Accompanying the release of "Pleura" was the official confirmation of the K.G sequel album, titled L.W., to be released one week later on February 26th, 2021.

Then, on the 7th of May, 2021, they announced their next album: Butterfly 3000 to be released a month later, with no singles. The album dropped a month later, being a Lighter and Softer psychedelic pop album.

On December 17, 2021, the band announced the long-rumored album Made in Timeland, which was to be released at the Timeland festival on New Year's Eve. This festival was cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19, and the release of the album was delayed to March 5 with their festival Return Of The Curse Of Timeland. Made in Timeland is an electronic album that consists of two fifteen minute songs, "Timeland" and "Smoke and Mirrors."

Their twentieth album, Omnium Gatherum, was announced on March 8, 2022, alongside its first track "The Dripping Tap." It had two other singles, "Magenta Mountain" and "Kepler-22b". The album was released on April 22, 2022 and is their longest album yet with a diverse sound.

Their official website can be found here.

Principal Members:

  • Stu Mackenzie - lead vocals, co-lead guitar, bass, flute, zurna, wind instruments, keyboards, percussion
  • Ambrose Kenny Smith - harmonica, keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
  • Cook Craig - rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards
  • Joey Walker - lead guitar, bass, setar, vocals, keyboards
  • Lucas Skinner - bass guitar
  • Eric Moore - drums, bongos, percussion, management (former member - left in 2020 to focus on Flightless Records - a label the band had started so they could self-publish, which then ballooned into a reasonably large Independent Label in the Melbourne area.)
  • Micheal Cavanagh - drums, bongos, percussion

Studio album discography:

  • 12 Bar Bruise (2012)
  • Eyes Like the Sky (2013)
  • Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)
  • Oddments (2014)
  • I'm in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)
  • Quarters! (2015)
  • Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (2015)
  • Nonagon Infinity (2016)
  • Flying Microtonal Banana (2017)
  • Murder of the Universe (2017)
  • Sketches of Brunswick East note  (2017)
  • Polygondwanaland (2017)
  • Gumboot Soup (2017)
  • Fishing For Fishies (2019)
  • Infest The Rats' Nest (2019)
  • K.G. (2020)
  • L.W. (2021)
  • Butterfly 3000 (2021)
  • Made In Timeland (2022)
  • Omnium Gatherum (2022)

Other releases

  • Sleep/Summer! single (2010)
  • Hey There/Ants & Bats single (2010)
  • Anglesea EP (2011)
  • Willoughby's Beach EP (2011)
  • Cyboogie/Acarine single (2019)
  • Live in Paris '19 live album (2020)
  • Live in Adelaide '19 live album (2020)
  • Live in Brussels '19 live album (2020)
  • Chunky Shrapnel live compilation (2020)
  • Live in San Francisco '16 live album (2020)
  • Satanic Slumber Partynote  EP (2022)

This band provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: Class-X4. In Murder of the Universe, Han-Tyumi destroys the entire universe by vomiting.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Combined with Conspiracy Theory on the first four tracks of I'm in Your Mind Fuzz.
    • "'Cause everybody's sucking on flouride... When I'm in your mind, then I'M IN YOUR MIND"
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: As you can see from their many strange actions, their name, and some of their more...out there lyrics, (Insert song about the entire universe being engulfed in puke here.) I think it's fair to say that they're an odd bunch.
  • Concept Album: Almost all of their material has a distinct musical concept behind it. Nonagon Infinity 's infinite loop, Flying Microtonal Banana 's experiment with notes between the ones most Western listeners are used to, Murder of the Universe 's spoken-word story anthology, and the adventures in the titular Polygondwanaland. And that's just from 2016-17.
  • Crapsack World: Earth in "Infest the Rats' Nest" has transformed into a dying planet where the only form of nutrition is human corpses. When a group of rebels attempt to find a new home on Venus and fail, they return to earth to find that it has turned into the biblical description of hell.
  • Epic Rocking: Most of their songs, though "Rattlesnake", "Open Water", and all of the tracks on Quarters! are notable examples.
    • 'Crumbling Castle' is a staggering eleven minutes long.
    • "Head On/Pill' (The opening track to Float Along - Fill Your Lungs) was the bands single longest track, at an even more staggering 16 minutes.
    • Both tracks on Made in Timeland—"Timeland" and "Smoke and Mirrors"—are 15 minutes long.
    • "The Dripping Tap" (The opening track to Omnium Gatherum) is now the longest at 18 minutes.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Done so often it'd be a pain to list all the examples. But a special mention must be given to Nonagon Infinity, which is designed to be an infinitely looping album with no clear beginning or end, so every song flows into one another.
  • Garage Rock: Most prominent early in their career.
  • Genre Mashup: Flying Microtonal Banana and their other microtonal albums combine Middle-Eastern music with psychedellic and acid rock.
  • Genre Roulette: Garage rock? Check. Spaghetti Western-inspired rock? Check. Psychedelic rock? Check. Acoustic folk? Check. New prog? Check. Experimental acid rock? Check. Prog metal? Check. Jazz rock? Check. Boogie rock? Check. Thrash metal? Check. It gets to the point where every album of theirs is a New Sound Album, and it's glorious.
    • Eyes Like the Sky combines garage rock with spaghetti westerns.
  • Green Aesop:
    • One interpretation of their lyrics. "Crumbling Castle" in particular makes a powerful environmentalist message.
      Are we safe in our citadel?
    • A bit more overt in Melting and Greenhouse Heat Death.
    • 2019 saw the release of two albums, both with several songs carrying an environmentalist message. "Fishing for Fishies" featured a more relaxed approach, while "Infest the Rats' Nest" is brutal and relentless about it.
  • Green Gators: The band’s mascot is a green alligator, originating in the video for “The River” and appearing on merchandise and album covers.
  • Heavy Mithril: The Gizzverse seems to be a strange mashup of various sci-fi and fantasy concepts.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: The covers of I'm In Your Mind Fuzz, Nonagon Infinity and Murder of the Universe feature the same mountainous landscape in the background.
  • Kudzu Plot: Combined with rotating and utterly open-ended arcs, Retcon, and a total lack of definitive statements by the band (that one time they claimed to have the storyline written out is the closest we've gotten), leading to the unholy mess that is the Gizzverse.
  • Last Note Nightmare: Paper Mâché, the last song of the album Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, is a gentle instrumental melody of the rest of the album rendered in flutes and guitars. The last third of it is the rest of the song played backwards and sped up, like a rewinding tape, before ending with a deafening BOOM sound effect.
  • Looped Lyrics: A frequent feature in their songs:
    • "I say, oh I say, I say, oh I say, I say, oh I say..."
    • "Rattlesnake, rattlesnake, rattlesnake, rattles me..."
    • "Wah, wah, wah-wah, wah, wah, wah-wah..."
    • "With cellophane, cellophane, cellophane, cellophane..."
    • "Balrog, Balrog, Balrog, Balrog, Balrog..."
    • "Boogie, boogie... Boogie, boogie..."
    • "K.G.L.W., K.G.L.W., K.G.L.W., K.G.L.W...."
    • "Ya love, ya love, ya love, ya love..."
    • “Drip, drip from the tap don't slip, drip, drip from the tap don't slip on the drip…”
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Despite the often bright and cheerful sound of most songs on Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, many of them feature lyrics about murder, corpses, and death in general.
  • Metal Scream: Stu Mackenzie's unmistakable "OOOOOOOWWHHH!"
  • Mushroom Samba: As one would expect from a psychedelic garage rock band from Australia there are some really weird sights described in their discography. Hats off for a soy protein munt machine that can engulf the entire universe not only spatially but at all points in time as well.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: "Evil Death Roll" is named after a technique used by crocodiles to eat their preys. No shocker, the song itself is about a crocodile feasting on one.
  • New Sound Album: Taken to its extreme, where every album is one.
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Remix Album: Butterfly 3001 is made of remixes of songs from Butterfly 3000.
  • Rhyming Names: The band's name: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
  • Rock Opera: Murder of the Universe is one with three movements pertaining to a specific concept with an overarching narrative between the three.
    • Carried over three albums (at least) with the release of Polygondwanaland. The story of the "Gizzverse" begins with Nonagon Infinity, is given two new features and the start of a universe ending story arc in Murder of the Universe, and concludes with the four chapters (and four colours) of Polygondwanaland. Whether I'm in Your Mind Fuzz, Quarters, Flying Microtonal Banana, and Paper Mâché Dream Balloon describe events in the same fictional universe is subject to debate.
    • Infest The Rats' Nest depicts humanity's ill-fated attempts at escaping the overpopulated Earth.
  • Shout-Out: The "Tale of the Altered Beast" on Murder of the Universe comes to mind, as does the battle between the Lord of Lightning and the Balrog.
    • Sketches of Brunswick East is likely one to Miles Davis's album Sketches of Spain.
    • Guiron with wings and additional eyes appears on the album cover of the Willoughby's Beach EP.
    • Likewise, Alien Guts appears holding a chalice on the album cover of Oddments.
    • The lyrics "Now come on a safari with me" from "Hot Wax" are inspired by "Surfin' Safari" by The Beach Boys.
    • The band's name is partly inspired by Jim Morrison's nickname "The Lizard King."
  • Snake Charmer: Featured on the cover of Flying Microtonal Banana (playing the titular guitar).
  • Spoken Word:
    • Played with on the album Murder of the Universe, which is split into three different narratives - the first two narrated by Leah Senior, and the third by a text-to-speech program.
    • Leah Senior returns on Polygondwanaland to narrate the first half of The Castle In The Air.
    • And before all that there was Eyes Like the Sky, a "cult western audio book" narrated by Broderick Smithnote .
  • Surprisingly Gentle Album: Sketches of Brunswick East, where the band moved from heavy rhythmic psychedelic rock to calm, light jazz-rock. Fishing for Fishies also counts to a lesser extent.
  • Title Track: Every album except for Quarters!, Nonagon Infinity, Gumboot Soup, Infest the Rats' Nest, K.G., and L.W. contain a title track. The latter two both contain a song that is almost the title track, called "K.G.L.W."
  • Uncommon Time: Several of their songs contain weird time signatures, like "Robot Stop", which has measures in 7/8, and "Gamma Knife" with a drum solo in 11/8 time! note  In some albums, uncommon time is more common than common time!

Nonagon infinity opens the door
Nonagon infinity opens the door
Wait for the answer to open the door
Nonagon infinity- AAAHHHHH!!