Prolific psych-prog outfit King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard never get in the way of a good hook | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Prolific psych-prog outfit King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard never get in the way of a good hook 

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click to enlarge King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

courtesy the artist

If you’ve got a low tolerance for whimsy, this Australian psych-prog band are probably not for you (the name really should have tipped you off to begin with). But if you like your trippy art-rock with lots of impish smiles implied, welcome to the weird world of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. The group formed in 2010, and their most recent full-length album, September’s Flying Microtonal Banana, is already their ninth. They plan to release five more in 2017 alone, so you needn’t worry about being left hanging. This is their first record using microtonal tunings, which lends an Arabic quality to the hypnotic “Billabong Valley” while giving the sing-song chorus of “Anoxia” something to kick against. During the almost enervating “Rattlesnake”—which exploits the phenomenon whereby a repeated word eventually ceases to have any meaning—the tweaked tuning makes the heavy wah-wah on their flubbery riffs really come to life. Unlike some of their prog kin, King Gizzard never let the desire to show off interfere with a good hook, which means their music generates earworms at a rabbit-­breeding rate.   v

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