King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s latest album Sketches of Brunswick East, recorded with a collaboration of Mild High Club, is their third this year. And it sounds like Metallica’s signature fourth song. It’s the first toned down of the bunch. It’s also complicated with sophisticated structure, but gives us a space to breathe and recharge without losing momentum.
Remember Fade to Black, The Unforgiven or Welcome Home (Sanitarium)? Man, I haven’t been listening to those in ages! We knew we are going to need some time to recover from these massive, energy-bursting LPs King Gizzard provided us earlier this year, and we got what we deserved. But at the same time there’s a clear message from the band that we are to be ready for the energy to come here again. And it is there, but hidden. Concealed only between the lines, when there is a space to do so. Meanwhile, Brunswick maintains its toned down, mystical, meditational character.
When it comes to sound, Australians decided to go full retro with music that blends elements of 60s lounge, with contemporary garage rock, progressive music, characteristic oriental motifs, and a huge amount of energy hidden behind this veil of very soft trance. Just as if this was just background elevator music. And in these element King Gizzard’s album reminds me of the Sims soundtracks. Or Frank Zappa’s earlier semi-satiric works. But also Hannah Barbera cartoons. And garage rock. And psychedelia. Yes, it’s all in King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Mild High Club co-op album.
This is the third chapter in their 2017 voyage, and I have a feeling that they are treating each of their albums this year as one song with a distinct concept that have a goal of creating a bigger whole. All of these LPs are consistent with specific messages, motifs, climate. And they didn’t say their final word. At least it sounds like this. And this may be Brunswick’s biggest flaw — it feels like a comma, and not a standalone in contrast to their previous two releases. However, with accompanying LPs this as well may be a very significant Oxford comma.
Listen to: Countdown, The Spider and Me, Sketches of Brunswick East II, The Book