We have takeoff! These mad kuns’ are on fire! 2022 was a massive year for these psychedelic face melters. King Gizz (as the loyalists call them) released seven studio albums in the year 2022. Yup, you heard that right, SEVEN! Not only are they releasing albums like a sprinter chasing a cheetah, but they are also headlining the biggest music festivals around the world. Shocking considering, they do not have any “mainstream” songs within their pocket. Why are the biggest and best festivals and venues booking these cats? There is a simple answer to that question and a not so simple answer to that question. An easy explanation would be these guys RIPPPPPP (no that is not an understatement … look at the attached link for a pre-nut).  A complicated explanation is King Gizz demands attention and respect from the second they step on stage. Whether it is their stage presence (wearing funky clothes and yelling outlandish, weird things into the mic) or their ability to do other-worldly things with instruments to create never heard sounds from a guitar, drum, bass, keyboard, … alright you get the point. King Gizz are just being themselves and us fellow weirdos envy this confidence. I was actually supposed to see these guys this summer at the iconic caverns venue in Tennessee. Due to my incredibly easy ability to get hungover from the previous night’s Goose set in Chattanooga, my friends and I bailed, and man would we regret it. Gizz pulled out the heavy artillery that night and performed an acoustic set. To know King Gizz is to love them. Alright long story short the album I will be reviewing today is the groovy jazz-fusion opus Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava. Wow, that was a manic paragraph.

Mycelium: From the name of the band, you can infer these fellas have a fetish for some science. “Mycelium’s” lyrics do not disappoint this kink. Mycelium is written in the point of view of, well, a mycelium. What is a mycelium? I got no earthly idea, but the most trusted source in the world does, yup you guessed right, GOOGLE! A mycelium is a network of fungal threads or hyphae. King Gizz cares about the education of our youth. “Mycelium” not only includes entertaining lyrics explaining the hardships of this poor mycelium, but incredibly catchy instrumental prowess. Starting with a steady drum and guitar line this song transforms into an instrumental aneurism.

Ice V: Will we survive ice V? The scientific answer to this question is no. The musical answer to this question is HELL YA! “Ice V” is a monoclinic crystalline phase of water, but we don’t care about that. We care that King Gizz personified this phase of water to a badass ice queen who destructs. This song is ten minutes of modern jazz brilliance. All sorts of noises combining to create confusion. Sections of this song make me feel like a classic spy from the 90’s (Austin Powers) with its crackly, quest seeking guitar riffs.

Iron Lung: Iron lungs are provided at all King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard concerts because muscle control is in control of the musicians. Assistance in breathing is required. This song starts smooth with in-sync guitar, bass, drums, and even sax with an occasional breakaway from the lead guitarist on his own voyage to a spooky witch hut. Then, BOOM!, it gets out of hand real quick. Cardiac arrest, all musicians start screaming into the microphones about the iron lung while all instruments are being played to their breaking point.

Magma: I have a personal connection to this song, as I saw magma firsthand in Iceland this summer (yes, yes this is a flex). Magma is a song about the obsidian, igneous rock. The lyrics describe the reign of the all-powerful Magma. The song begins with auto-tune coarse vocals. The bassist then gets the song going, with a short, but oh so sweet, bass solo. This sets up for the rest of the musicians to get to work to create fire. Flowey guitar lines and a drumbeat keep the Magma from flowing downstream rather than up. Lead guitarist transitions from each musician throughout.

Other tunes on the album are Lava, Hell’s Itch, and Gliese 710.

These Aussies from Melbourne are a special breed of Roo. No one else in the game are doing what they are doing. They have broken practically every rule within the music industry and still reached stardom. Consequences are an enigma to Gizz. The ability to create extended jams and “fuzzy freak-outs” to tightly constructed, but still weird, laid-back pop songs show nothing is too much for Gizz. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard just released their US schedule for 2024 and it is MEGA. New tunes, new places, big vibes. 3 hours with no set break creating an endless party. Locations include Forest Hills, New York, Chicago, Washington, and Texas. Just make sure if you attend to pack your aqua because it is going to be hot! And hopefully I will see you beautiful souls there.

It’s Nuthin Personal …

Ben Belden

Photo Credits from: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6XYvaoDGE0VmRt83Jss9Sn

Sweet Seattle performance (highly recommend): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb8UMmrBlC8