Words by Keith Hadad
It can be easily said that apart from maybe Ty Segall, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard is one of the busiest and most prolific names in contemporary psychedelic rock. This year alone, the band has five albums planned for release. Sketches of Brunswick East is the latest and mellowest of this year’s batch of records so far, feeling like a relaxing breather after their last album, the absurdist triple-concept slab of acid-metal that was Murder of The Universe.
Collaborating with tour buddies, Mild High Club, this record has a more hazy, stoned jazz-rock sound to it than King Gizzard’s previous efforts. Most of the songs feature a warped, surreal production with wobbly, artificial-sounding vocals, atonal distortions and densely packed instrumentation, giving the record a slightly disturbed and dreamlike quality.
For instance, on “Rolling Stoned,” flutes and keyboards sway smoothly to a funky beat while the entire song’s pitch occasionally dips and falters like you’re listening to the music of a ‘70s exploitation video tape that’s about to be eaten by your VCR. Elsewhere on the album, the group keeps up the altered retro sound; coming across like early Steely Dan jamming with Man Child-era Herbie Hancock.
This album is an entirely new, eclectic direction for King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, showing just how versatile and free they can be as musicians. This only makes the question of where they are going to next all the more exciting.
‘Sketches of Brunswick East’
© August 18, 2017
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