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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

By Jim Francis

Reconvening as a power trio for their fifteenth release Infest the Rats’ Nest, Stu Mackenzie (vocals/guitar), Joey Walker (bass) and Michael Cavanagh (drums) have committed to vinyl an experience unlike any previous King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard release.

From the needle-drop on side one it is a scorching re-entry from orbit, opening track “Planet B” could become the rallying war cry of Extinction Rebellion. Mackenzie’s sunburnt howls and brown acid guitar riffs heralding global catastrophe like a sermon from the street corner.

A brief pause after Fishing for Fishies (released April 2019) meant that less than half of the band are present for this recording. The unencumbered rhythm section of Walker and Cavanagh deliver frenetic basslines and double-kicks that are equal parts Blue Cheer and Bay Area thrash. Side two sees the trio writhe like doomsday cultists’ hepped-up on Flavor-Aid, building to the closing track: “Hell”. Mackenzie’s version of eternal damnation shares the fantastic pessimism of a Bosch painting. It’s a shame this cli-fi tale of how the world was lost closes out at just under thirty-five minutes.

Dark stuff from the Gizz – packaged oh so beautifully. To entice punters and collectors alike the local edition of Infest the Rats Nest is a 150 gram vinyl dipped in gold and red half and half wax. Digital listeners will be pleased to find that the album comes with a free download of all tracks in high-definition FLAC (Boon!). Collectors will find a patch to add to their battle jacket and a massive wall poster of the Temple of Doom-like album artwork.

Pro: the doomsday prepping playlist just got longer.

Con: might end up joining a cult.

Rating: Three burnt snags out of four.

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