Melbourne, Victoria, Australien
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is an Australian psychedelic rock band that formed in 2010 in Melbourne, Victoria. The band consists of Stu Mackenzie (vocals, guitar, flute), Ambrose Kenny Smith (vocals, synths, harmonica), Cook Craig (guitar), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass), Eric Moore (drums), and Michael Cavanagh (drums).
The band is noted for its energetic live performances and prolific recording output, having released nine full-length studio albums since 2012. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard's early work was primarily a blend of surf music, garage rock and psychedelic rock, while more recent releases show a broader range of influences, including elements of film music, progressive rock, folk, jazz, soul and heavy metal.
The band members all grew up and went to school in the Deniliquin, Melbourne and Geelong areas. The band started off as a group of friends jamming together, before a mutual friend asked them to play at a show. The band's name was created "last minute". Mackenzie wanted to name the band "Gizzard Gizzard" while another band member wanted to reference Jim Morrison's nickname "Lizard King". They eventually compromised with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
Early EPs to 12 Bar Bruise (2011-2012)
The band's first release, 2011's Anglesea, was released as a four-track EP on CD. It is named after Anglesea, the town where Mackenzie grew up, and is currently not available for purchase, physically or digitally. The band's second release, Willoughby's Beach EP, was released by Shock Records on 21 October 2011. Beat Magazine described the 9-track garage rock EP as "filled to the teeth with consistently killer hooks." In December 2011, the band appeared at the Meredith Music Festival for the first time.
The band's first full-length album, 12 Bar Bruise, was released on 7 September 2012. The 12-track garage rock album was self-recorded, and several tracks used unconventional recording methods. For example, the vocals for the album's title track were recorded through four iPhones placed around a room while Mackenzie sang into one of them.
Eyes Like the Sky and Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizzard's second full-length album, Eyes Like the Sky, was released on 22 February 2013. Described as a "cult western audio book", the album is narrated by Broderick Smith and tells a story of outlaws, child soldiers, Native Americans and gun fights, all set in the American frontier. The album was written collaboratively by Smith and Stu Mackenzie. When asked about the album's influences, Mackenzie said: "I love Western films. I love bad guys and I love Red Dead Redemption. Oh, and I love evil guitars".
The band's third full-length album, Float Along – Fill Your Lungs, was released on 27 September 2013. King Gizzard shifted from garage rock to a more mellow folk and psychedelic sound on this eight track album.
Oddments and I'm in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)
Float Along – Fill Your Lungs was followed by Oddments, released on 7 March 2014. Over the course of this 12-track album, the band takes a more melodic approach, and Mackenzie's vocals are more prominent. Oddments has been described as being "recorded through a woolen sock in an adjacent room".
The band's fifth full-length album, I'm In Your Mind Fuzz, was released on 31 October 2014. The 10-track album touches on elements of fantasy and lyrically delves into the concept of mind control. This was the first time the band took a "traditional" approach to writing and recording an album; the songs were written, the band rehearsed together, and they recorded the songs "as a band" in the studio. Pitchfork described the album as "open with a sprint" and ending "with some of their best slow jams."
Quarters! and Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (2015)
Quarters!, King Gizzard's sixth full-length album, was released on 1 May 2015. The album features four songs, each running for ten minutes and ten seconds, making each song a quarter of the album. Drawing upon jazz-fusion and acid rock, the album's more laid-back sound was described as "unlike anything they’ve released before" and as "an album more likely to get your head bobbing and hips shaking as opposed to losing footwear in a violent mosh".
Later in the year, on 13 November 2015, the band released its seventh full-length album, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon. This "concept-less concept album" features only acoustic instruments and was recorded on Mackenzie's parents' farm in country Victoria. The album features "a collection of short unrelated songs" described as "mellow, defuzzed psychedelia".
Nonagon Infinity (2016)
The band's eighth full-length album, Nonagon Infinity, was released worldwide on 29 April 2016. Described by Mackenzie as a "never-ending album", it features nine songs connected by musical motifs which flow "seamlessly" into each other with the last track "linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic mobius strip". On 8 March the band released a video for the first single, "Gamma Knife". It contained a riff from the song "People Vultures" which was premiered on April 4.
Explorations Into Microtonal Tuning (2017–present)
The band's ninth album, Flying Microtonal Banana, was recorded in the band's own studio and released on 24 February 2017. Three tracks were issued in advance: "Rattlesnake," the opening track, in October 2016; "Nuclear Fusion" in December 2016; and "Sleep Drifter" in January 2017. Their tenth album, Murder of the Universe, will be released on 23 June 2017. The band has said that they plan to release a total of four to five studio albums in 2017.
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