King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ LP [Flightless / Heavenly Recordings]


Is King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard a thing everywhere yet? Either the more popular kids have got another one right (happens every so often) or with us finishing up the NTS show I’m slowly pulling my head out of a sink hole of unmastered experimental chin-stroked recordings from unnamed brooding synth heads. Either way I’ve been lost in a world of band music once again and the seven piece King Gizzard is currently on heavy rotation.

With this being there ninth full length since 2012 it definitely feels like they should be on their way to taking over the world. Not that prolificness equals quality, but in this case their whole catalogue of records is band music at it’s absolute finest, and their live shows – of which there are many of in their home state of Victoria next month – are hypnotic experiences akin to the best psychadelic jams of the ’70s, channeling a time when musicians still took pride in such things.

Flying Microtonal Banana is evidently the first of five LPs that will drop this year from the group. Whether or not I need (or can retain enthusiasm for) another four records from King Gizzard in the next 10 months is something that remains to be seen, but it’s certainly off to a cracking start.

Microtonal music refers to music made using microtones, intervals smaller than a semitone. The cliff note on the interesting part is that these are scales outside of what we’re used to hearing in the Western world. And it’s an exploration of these scales and adjustments that makes up the concept of this album, best explained from the band themselves.

Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explained drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.

The lead single on the below also confirmed a strong belief of mine, that in club music or band recordings repetition is freaking cool. Tell my you don’t hear elements of Kyuss and Hawkwind in what they do.

Go check out the full LP from their bandcamp page, and when they’re in town make sure you go see them live. All sorts of awesomeness.