Tag: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

New Audio: Perth Australia’s Mt. Mountain Releases a Hypnotic New Single

With the release of their first three albums, 2016’s Cosmos Terros, 2017’s Dust, 2018’s Golden Rise, the Perth, Australia-based psych rock quintet Mt. Mountain — Stephen Bailey (vocals, organ, flute), Thomas Cahill (drums), Glenn Palmer (guitar, synth), Brendan Shanley (bass) and Derrick Treatch (guitar) — developed and honed a sprawling, motorik-driven, minimal-as -maximal approach inspired by the likes of NEU! and CAN. And through a wildly all-consuming live show, the Aussie psych rockers have added their names to a an impressive list of contemporaries including Moon Duo, Kikagaku Moyo and Minami Deutsch while sharing stages with JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, ORB, Sleep, MONO, Thee Oh Sees, Acid Mothers Temple and the aforementioned Moon Duo.

The Aussie quintet recently signed to London-based Fuzz Club Records, who will be releasing the band’s fourth album Centre. Slated for a February 26, 2021 release, Centre continues the band’s long-held reputation for crafting material from long, improvised jams with much of the album recorded live to tape, capturing the band at their most freewheeling. Thematically, the album reportedly is centered around a dissection of faith — both spiritual and secular — and Stephen Bailey’s personal, often complicated relationship to it. “The album for me, lyrically, is mostly about my experience of religion. It explores these concepts and the rules that were told to me from childhood to adulthood and my thoughts on my own connection to them,” Bailey explains. “Similar themes arise between the tracks whether it be lyrically or structural, both a play on repetition and simplicity. ”

“Aplomb,” Centre’s hypnotic and brooding first single features an expansive, booze and hallucinogen-fueled song structure driven by rolling rhythms, a motorik groove, droning keys, a looping and shimmering guitar line paired with Bailey’s yearning vocals — and the end result is a deeply textured, painterly take on psych rock.

“‘Aplomb’ is essentially the voice that I hear in my head, reminding me to not rush and slow down, and to have the confidence to bring this into practice in everyday life,” Mt. Mountain’s Stephen Bailey explains in press notes. “We wanted there to be this clear contrast here between the tempo of the song and the lyrical content, an approach which appears throughout the album.”

New Video: Aussie JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Head to the Dance Floor

Formed back in 2010, the acclaimed, genre-defying Aussie psych rock and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard — Stu Mackenzie (vocals/guitar), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (harmonica/vocals/keyboards), Cook Craig (guitar/vocals), Joey Walker (guitar/vocals), Lucas Skinner (bass) and Michael Cavanagh (drums).– have developed and maintained a long-held reputation for being a restlessly experimental and prolific act that has released boundary using material that has drawn from psych rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, thrash punk, prog rock and Turkish pop.

The JOVM mainstays’ 16th album K.G. is a collection of songs that was written and recorded remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the new and very different recording approach, K.G.’s songs were pieced together and given space to breathe, which allowed the music to be entire free. “It’s almost like an album that normal people make,” the band’s Stu Mackenzie laughs “Almost…”

K.G.’s material can trace some of its origins to their critically acclaimed 2017 effort Flying Microtonal Banana, which marked the first of five albums released that year. That album was written and recorded using a Turkish-inspired microtonal musical scale that required quarter tone tunings — and custom-made instruments for the occasion. While featuring live favorites like “Rattlesnake,” “Sleep Drifter,” “Nuclear Fusion” and “Billabong Valley,” Flying Microtonal Banana revealed a band that paints from a palette that extends past the prototypical sounds and tones of Western music.

“FMB was one of the purest and most enjoyable recording experiences we’ve had, and the ideas just kept coming” Mackenzie explains. “But we didn’t think we would play it live as the music dictated a new medium that requires different instruments, new flight cases and so. It was a liberating studio-based experiment which surprisingly translated seamlessly and spawned some of favourite songs to play live.” Interestingly. K.G. finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays returning to the microtonal tunings heard on Flying Microtonal Banana but while cherry picking the best aspects of their previous work and contorting them into new shapes with non-Western musical scales.

Interestingly, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s 16th album is simultaneously a stand-alone work and part of a bigger musical picture. The albums often feature motifs and ideas that may have appeared several albums previously, suddenly rearing their heads in a completely new way. And odds are we’ll likely see even more news on what’s to come. But in meantime, K.G.’s latest single, the hypnotic, house music freak out, “Intrasport” finds the Aussie JOVM mainstays heading to the dance floor — yes, seriously! — with a track centered around thumping beats, shimmering Casio-like synth arpeggios, an infectious hook and a club banging breakdown. Because of the micro tuning, “Intrasport” manages to sound as though it were inspired by the likes of JOVM mainstay Omar Souleyman — but with a mischievous and trippy air.

Directed, edited and shot by John Angus Stewart, the recently released video features the members of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard at a party at an impossibly small apartment. But we see the members of the band moving in a Matrix-like slow motion — while others kind of move normally. It’s trippy as fuck. “The clip was shot in my tiny studio apartment,” John Angus Stewart says. “For the main reason that it’s the smallest place I know that someone lives in. The aim was to find the 50/50 split: feeling lonely at a party but surrounded by people. Feeling like you are the only one there and that nobody really understands you (but you still have to bring it). I used 35mm anamorphic to give the small space as much panoramic effect as I could muster. Sometimes the smallest of spaces feel huge when you are partying, why do you think everyone always gathers in the kitchen or bathroom?”

Live Footage: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Perform “Evil Death Roll” — from “Live in San Francisco ’16”

Formed back in 2010, the acclaimed, genre-defying Aussie psych rock and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have maintained a long-held reputation for being a restlessly prolific act has released boundary pushing material that frequently draws from psych rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, thrash punk, Turkish pop, prog rock, and more.

2016’s Nonagon Infinity began an enviable and insanely prolific run of material that found the Aussie act doubling their overall output in only a handful of years. Released to major critical praise internationally from the likes of NPR, who hailed it as “masterfully bizarro” and Pitchfork who wrote that the album yielded “some of the most outrageous, exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll in recent memory.” The album was also a commercial success in their native Australia, wining an ARIA Award for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album. Interestingly, as a result of the album’s critical and commercial success, Nonagon Infinity has proven to be a major career turning point for the band with the band’s live show quickly moving from more intimate settings — 500 or so capacity joints to 2,500-5,000 capacity clubs and amphitheaters.

Written and recorded over a two year period, Nonagon Infinity is a drastic departure from its immediate predecessor, 2015’s Paper Maché Dream Machine with the band taking a bold creative leap in its structure and arrangements. “I wanted to have an album where all these riffs and grooves just kept coming in and out the whole time, so a song wasn’t just a song, it was part of a loop, part of this whole experience where it feels like it doesn’t end and doesn’t need to end,” King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s Stu Mackenzie explained in 2016. The album is the world’s first infinity looping album, which each track flowing seamlessly into the next with the album’s closing track linking back to the album’s opener. The band tears through the album’s set of material with a furious intensity — and without ever breaking. For the band and the listener, its meant to induce a joyful and feverish delirium.

The Aussie psych rock JOVM mainstays just released a live double LP album Live in San Francisco ’16. Recorded during a tour stop at San Francisco’s The Independent, the live album captures the band’s infamously explosive live shows — and the sweaty and intense intimacy of the 500 capacity room. With nearly half of that tour’s setlist made up of Nonagon Infinity tracks, the live album unfolds with furious yet controlled sense of chaos while capturing the band at arguably their tightest ever. “2016 was peak tightness for Gizz,” Stu Mackenzie recalls in press notes. “Around this time we were really into tightly composed sets, and the show was like one long song—everything linked, everything planned. We threw that idea out the window later on, but this live record is a great document of that moment in our collective psyche.”

Along with the live album, the Aussie JOVM released a live concert film — from that same live recording. As a taste of both the album and the live concert film, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard released footage of an explosive performance of Nonagon Infinity album track “Evil Death Roll” that will further cement the band’s reputation for being one of the world’s best live acts.

You can purchase the Concert Film here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/liveinsanfrancisco16

New Video: Frankie and the Witch Fingers Release a Menacing and Trippy Visual for Mind-Bending “Sweet Freak”

Currently featuring core trio Dylan Sizemore (vocals), multi-instrumentalist Josh Menashe and Shaughnessy Starr (drums), the Los Angeles-based psych rock act Frankie and the Witch Fingers can trace their origins back to their formation about a decade ago in Bloomington, IN. Since the band’s formation the band has developed and honed a reputation for restless experimentation, multiple permutations and a high-powered, scuzzy take on psych rock, centered around absurdist lyrical imagery — fueled by hallucinations, paranoia and lust. And as a result, the band’s material manages to be simultaneously playful and menacing. 

With the addition of Shaughnessy Starr, the Los Angeles-based psych rock act went through another sonic mutation that resulted in a lysergic and claustrophobic sound — while further relying on their penchant for Black Sabbath-style riffage. Building upon a growing profile, the members of the Los Angeles-based act has opened for the likes of JOVM mainstays Thee Oh Sees, Cheap Trick and ZZ Top. 

Written while on the road, the act’s forthcoming album Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . . is slated for an October 2, 2020 release through Greenway Records and Levitation Festival’s label The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Recorded in a breakneck five day recording session, the highly-anticipated follow up to ZAM, Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters finds the band taking the turbulence of its immediate predecessor and making the material much more insidious, evil and ambitious while capturing the band in the midst of massive personnel changes — longtime bassist Alex Bulli left the band, and as a result the band’s Menashe wrote and played most of the material’s bass parts with occasional contributions from Dylan Sizemore. Much like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Infest the Rats Nest, Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ forthcoming album sees the band crafting expansive, maximalist material — with fewer moving parts. (Interestingly, Death Valley Girls’ Nikki Pickle will join the band as a touring member.) 

“Sweat Freak,” Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters . . .’s latest single features crunchy, power chord-driven riffs, punchily delivered yet surrealistic lyrics and explosive horn blasts within an expansive, constantly morphing and expansive song structure. Sonically, the result is a song that’s one part King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard one part Stooges and one part Tool-like prog rock with a menacing and malicious air. 

Done by Spaghetti Jesus, the recently released claymation video for “Sweat Freak” features trippy visual effects by Slob Dylan and 2D animation by Mitchell Zeni — and the video is centered around monstrous aliens performing weird and bloody experiments on people and each other.  It’s hilariously disturbing and absolutely brilliant. 

New Audio: Australia’s Mildlife Releases a Shimmering Club Friendly Jam

With the release of 2017’s full-length debut Phase, the Aussie quartet Midlife — multi-instrumentalists Jim Rindfleish, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell and Tom Shanahan — exploded into the national and international scene. Phase was released to critical acclaim from Resident AdvisorResident Advisor, Uncut, The Guardian and airplay from BBC Radio 6 — and the album helped the band garner several award nominations including Best Album at the 2018 Worldwide FM Awards,  Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2018 AIR Awards and Best Electronic Award nomination and win at the The Age Music Victoria Awards. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of the Midlife have opened for the likes of Stereolab, JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Harvey Sutherland. Their first national headlining tour was sold out, and the immediately followed up with a ten-date UK and European tour, which was culminated with a homecoming set at Meredith Music Festival. 

The rising Aussie act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Automatic is slated for a September 18, 2020 release through Heavenly Recordings and the album reportedly is step-change from their debut with the material being much more disciplined, directional and more danceable but while continuing their unerring knack to let a track luxuriate and stretch out without ever being self-indulgent. “The recorded songs kind of become the new reference point for playing the songs live,” Midlife’s Kevin McDowell says. ““They both have different outcomes and we make our decisions for each based on that, but they’re symbiotic and they both influence each other. It’s usually a fairly natural flow from live to recorded back to live.”

“Vapour,” Automatic’s second and latest single is centered around a shimmering, cosmic groove featuring glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, a fluttering and expressive flute solo, shuffling four-on-the-floor, a euphoria-inducing hook and McDowell’s plaintive falsetto.  While sonically the song brings Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and DBFC to mind, it conjures memories of carefree dance floors of pre-COVID quarantines, lockdowns and isolation. “Vapour is a dance mantra with enough weight to blow the cobwebs off your tired mind and snap you out of your endless feed scrolling rituals,” the members of Midlife say of the song. 

Live Footage: Amyl and The Sniffers Perform “Gacked on Anger” at The Croxton

Formed back in 2016, the acclaimed Melbourne, Australia-based punk act Amyl and The Sniffers — Amy Taylor (vocals), Gus Romer (bass), Bryce Wilson (drums) and Declan Martens (guitar) — wrote and self-recored their debut EP Giddy Up. The following year, they released the Big Attractions EP, which was packaged as a double 12 inch EP with  Giddy Up through Homeless Records in Australia and Damaged Goods in the UK.

The band made their international touring debut with an appearance at The Great Escape Festival, a series of sold out London area shows and a Stateside tour opening for JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They ended a busy year with triumphant return tours to the UK and the US before signing to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Flightless Records for distribution across Australia and New Zealand and Rough Trade for the rest of the world. They ended that massive year with a Q Awards nomination for Best New Act and won the $30,000 Levis Prize.

Building upon a growing international profile, the Aussie punk rock outfit took SXSW by storm — and they promptly followed that up with their self-titled, full-length debut, which was released to critical applause globally for their feral take on ’77 era punk rock. Adding to a breakthrough year, the band won an ARIA Award for Best Rock Album. 

The acclaimed Melbourne-based punk act released the follow-up to their critically applauded debut with a live 7 inch vinyl, Live At The Croxton, which features dynamic live version of three of their most crowd-pleasing tracks — “Control,” “Gacked On Anger” and “Shake Ya” recorded at the band’s favorite club, The Croxton. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year, I wrote about Live at the Croxton’s first single, the Highway to Hell-era AC/DC meets Headbanger’s Ball-like “Control.” The EP’s latest single is the explosive and gritty mosh pit anthem “Gacked on Anger,”  tells an all-too familiar tale of a Working Jane, who is working her ass off on minimum wage, and  recognizes that everything in the world is s a fucking scam. It’s fittingly captures the frustration and unease of working people everywhere, who realize that they can’t make ends meet because of some greedy fat cat. 

The video is comprised of live footage of the Melbourne-based punk rock act performing the song live at the Croxton — and while the band plays with a muscular insistence, watch for Taylor’s anarchic and feral energy on stage. 

Live Footage: Aussie Punk Rockers Amyl and The Sniffers Perform “Control” at The Croxton

Acclaimed Melbourne, Australia-based punk act Amyl and The Sniffers — Amy Taylor (vocals), Gus Romer (bass), Bryce Wilson (drums) and Declan Martens (guitar) — formed back in 2016. During that first year together, they wrote and self-recorded their debut EP Giddy EP. The Aussie quartet then released 2017’s Big Attractions EP, which they released as a double 12 inch EP with Giddy Up through Homeless Records in Australia and Damaged Goods in the UK.

Amyl and The Sniffers made their international touring debut with an appearance at The Great Escape Festival, a series of sold out London area shows and  a Stateside tour opening for JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. The ended a busy 2017-2018 with triumphant return tours to the UK and US — and signing with  Flightless Records for distribution across Australia and New Zealand and Rough Trade for the rest of the world. They also received a Q Awards nomination for Best New Act and won the $30,000 Levis Prize. 

Building upon a growing international profile, the Aussie punk rock outfit took SXSW by storm and released their critically applauded, self-titled, full-length debut, which established their frenetic and feral take on ’77 era punk and won an ARIA Award for Best  Rock Album. Slated for a May 1, 2020 release, the Melbourne-based punk act will be releasing a live 7 inch, Live At The Croxton, which features dynamic live version of three of their most crowd-pleasing tracks — “Control,” “Gacked On Anger” and “Shake Ya” recorded at the band’s favorite club, in their hometown. 

Live At The Croxton’s first single is a live version “Control” which manages to recall Highway to Hell-era AC/DC, compete with a feral and booze-fueled intensity, centered by Taylor’s howling and some explosive, Headbanger’s Ball-like riffage. The recently released video is centered around live footage of the band performing the song — and it should serve as prefect example of what to expect from their live show: Taylor howling and stomping about the stage while the band rips and roars. 

Live Footage: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard on Live on KEXP

The genre-defying Aussie psych rock act and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released five albums in a wildly prolific burst in 2017 — with each album managing to be in a completely different genre and style. Naturally, such a feat helped to cement the band’s reputation for being restlessly prolific and experimental. So for a band known for being like clockwork when it comes to releasing new material, last year’s lack of new material sticks out as anomaly. However, in fairness to the members of the band, they spent part of last year on a busy world tour that featured a headlining set at Desert Daze and three-sold out nights at Brooklyn Steel, one of the larger venues they had played at the time in the States — until their Rumsey Playfield show with Stonefield and Orb back in August. 

This year finds the acclaimed and wildly prolific Aussie psych rock at speeding up the pace. Earlier this year, they released the boogie blues-tinged Fishing for Fishes and in August, they released their second album of the year and their 15th album overall, Infest the Rats’ Nest. Now, as you may recall, Infest the Rats Nest featured what may arguably be the most pared down lineup of their entire creative output: the band’s creative mastermind Stu McKenzie (vocals, guitar, bass), Joey Walker (guitar, bass), and Michael Cavanaugh (drums) with the band’s remaining members busy with prior commitments.  The reduced lineup allowed the band to focus on crafting together arrangements with a pummeling and feral ferocity inspired by McKenzie’s long-held love of thrash metal — in particular, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Rammstein.

King Gizzard’s 15th album, sonically and thematically is a radical and unexpected departure from its most immediate predecessor: the album’s material may arguably be the darkest and bleakest efforts they’ve released to date, as the band seethes with disgust and contempt over the human race’s myopia, stupidity and greed. At its core, is the acknowledgement that we’re all blindly marching lockstep to our annihilation —  and maybe we deserve it. 

During the band’s last North American tour, they stopped by KEXP to record a live session, which featured material off Infest the Rats Nest that included the Black Sabbath-like “Mars for the Rich,” the pummeling Slayer-like “Venusian 1,” “Venusian 2,” and “Hell” and the Ride the Lighting-era Metallica-like “Perihelion.” The live footage is not just a taste of their amazing live show, it’s a reminder that King Gizzard may be one of the best indie bands in the world — their dexterous musicianship allows the band the versatility to play anything with a self-assuredness and pitch-perfect accuracy. 

New Video: Netherlands Releases a Stark Visual Full of Existential Dread

Formed by its creative mastermind, Timo Ellis, a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has collaborated with Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, John Zorn, Melvins, Gibby Haynes, Ween, Joan As Police Woman, Spacehog, White Hills and others back in 2010, the New York-based act NETHERLANDS currently features Chealsea “Thee Chuq” Wierbonski, John Musto and Damien Moffitt. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past handful of years, you may recall that the New York-based band has developed a reputation for adhering to a sound and approach that actively rejects restraint for ambitious maximalism featuring pummeling drumming, dexterous guitar shredding, rapid fire tone, tempo and time signature changes — while being remarkably hook-driven in a way that sort of recalls Melvins, Torche, Mastodon and Jane’s Addiction.  

Building upon a growing profile, the members of NETHERLANDS have played with a number of renowned and acclaimed acts across a diverse and eclectic array of genres and styles including Napalm Death, Melt Banana, Mutoid Man, Yob, Black Flag, EYEHATEGOD, Candiria, Valient Thorr, Child Abuse, Mutilation Rites, Primitive Weapons, Freshkills, Vaz, Naam, Martin Rev, The Giraffes, The Death Set, BANGLADEAFY! DN’T, Unstoppable Death Machines, Mouth of the Architect, White Hills, Gull, Godmaker, Spacehog, The Austerity Program, No Way, Moon Tooth and Radkey.

Recalling an industrial-leaning take on King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Murder of the Universe, Netherlands’ latest single “Zombie Techno” retains the pummeling sound and sludgy power chords that has won them attention but while arguably being one of the most danceable — yes, really danceable — songs they’ve released to date.  “The theme of his song, as well as our entire new wave of material, is a comment on the illusion of community and civic participation that’s become the currency of all the new media platforms,” the band’s Timo Ellis explains. “Virtually everyone is constantly feeding overlapping algorithms that are sustained by a near-constant supply of curated narcissism, which while outwardly appearing to be ‘issue driven,’ much more often than not, don’t actually reflect any kind of real world action or real coalition-building or organization, whatsoever.”

Directed and designed by Kenny Curwood, the recently released video for “Zombie Techno” is centered around incredibly stark New Yorker cartoon-like animation, which shows human history and the human condition but through the lens of psychedelic, existential dread. Ultimately, the visual features an indifferent universe that sarcastically smirks and mocks humanity’s attempt to make meaning of their lives, as well as putting existence to a danceable rhythm.