ALBUM REVIEW: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Changes

7/10

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Changes

First conceived in 2017, a year in which King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, the Australian psychedelic six, released five new albums, it's only just arriving now. Band member Stu Mackenzie states: "I think of Changes as a song-cycle," Every song is built around this one-chord progression – every track is like a variation on a theme. But I don't know if we had the musical vocabulary yet to complete the idea at that time when the sessions were over; it just never felt done".

Well, now it is unleashed into the world as their sixth album this year and their third in October! These include Laminated Denim, Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava, Omnium Gatherum, Made In Timeland and Butterfly 3001.

Cleary is a highly prolific band with outlandish concepts, this being their 23rd album. The title track, "Changes", is a 13-minute jazz-funk extravaganza. An array of instruments is played here: smooth keyboards offset by synthesized drum beats. A languid, chilled groove of a track interweaving double bass and harp. It keeps this pace until roughly seven minutes in, when the tempo becomes a mixture of hip hop for a moment before, at the eight-minute mark, it becomes a delicious prog-rock buzz. Intricate and experimental.

"Hate Dancin" has a cheesy refrain 'I still hate dancin', but it has an undeniably catchy beat running through it courtesy of a funky keyboard. "Astroturf" is a sweet, soulful mix of flutes, jazz, and 70s r and b. There's a line about a butterfly that's just like the band St. Etienne, dreamy and 60s. Halfway in, there's a gorgeous flute solo that sets your mind drifting.

"Gondi" comes on like a 70s/80s sci-fi soundtrack with compelling synthesizer beats and pulses. The rhythm speeds up for this track, maxing the prog-rock level with fizzy energy. "Short Change" is a wacky sound drive which is trippy and surreal. Full of keyboards and electronica, it builds to a final crescendo.

How can I sum this up without cliches? A laid-back album with echoes of The Banana Splits and Frank Zappa in a revolving door with Tangerine Dream. It's definitely worth a listen. Go explore your inner universe.

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