Nonagon Infinity – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

“Robot Stop” is actually the first song I ever recorded! I had arranged an acoustic cover of it that used a ska-punk rhythm to keep the pulse-pounding energy of the original version, a D-E-F-G (all major) chord progression to fit the insanity of the chorus, and put most of it in 4/4 so I could play it with friends. I was even able to keep the song microtonal with an E A D G B B-half-sharp tuning! I wasn’t able to replicate the creative harmonica, riffing, and percussion that proliferate on this album, but what do you expect? This is a deeply complex and alien concept album in which every song fades into the next (and the last song fades into the first), we constantly hear noises of madness that sound like they arise out of the ether itself (I’d swear that beautiful opening of “Road Train” is straight static), and odd time signatures abound (9/4 with 5+4/4 subdivisions on “Big Fig Wasp” and so much more). I couldn’t tell you what’s going on in what fans call the Gizzverse, but it makes for surreal, engaging lyrics that draw me in, especially with Stu’s insane hawklike vocals and the catchy melodies he sings. The guitars on this album are amazing, with absolutely beautiful production that makes them sound like a cross between a bell and an analog electronic instrument; every single riff on this album is expertly constructed, with the same i-VIIb shift-based harmony as Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but focused on creating amazing fast grooves in who knows what time signature. It should be noted that this album isn’t all fast minor guitar pieces; you’ve got the bright midtempo walking-down-the-street rock-and-roll of “Mr. Beat” and the anxious samba of “Invisible Face”, both of which are really cool in their own right. King Gizzard’s work is all really good, whether you prefer the gritty metal of Infest the Rats’ Nest, the psychedelic insanity of Murder of the Universe, the microtonal jams of Flying Microtonal Banana, the bright, joyful patterns of Butterfly 3000, or the weird jazz-inspired meandering of Sketches of Brunswick East and Fishing for Fishies, and this album is a true masterpiece.

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