King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – ‘Nonagon Infinity’ Review

Australian psych maniacs King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have transformed into a mad metal band

Reinvention is the calling card of bonkers Australian seven-piece King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. They began their career four years ago with the Thee Oh Sees-inspired garage-rock of 2012’s ‘12 Bar Bruise’, and have cheerfully dabbled in bucolic freak-folk (2015’s ‘Paper Mâché Dream Balloon’) and jazzy psych (‘Quarters’, also from 2015) on their way to this, their eighth album. On ‘Nonagon Infinity’ they’re supplementing their traditional fuzz with the frenetic pace and blistering melodies of what they’ve called “the heavier sort of ’70s metal”. Black Sabbath, Motörhead – that sort of thing.

The ludicrous title is a reference to the looping capability of the album, with each track flowing seamlessly into the next – even the last into the first. If you wanted to, you could listen to it forever in one unbroken melody. They‘ve done this sort of thing before – 2015’s ‘Quarters’ featured just four tracks, each lasting 10 minutes, 10 seconds – but the fluidity of this record has pushed one of the band’s guitarists, Joe Walker, to call these nine songs the “truest example of a King Gizzard live show”. In the way it captures their chaotic charm, that’s very much the case.

There is meticulousness at work here too, though. It can be a taxing eardrum workout – its beefed-up guitar work (from Walker, Stu Mackenzie and Cook Craig) and jackhammer rhythms (drumming duo Michael Cavanagh and Eric Moore) barely let up. But it’s also loads of fun: ‘Road Train’ is rollicking and, for a while, the lyrics in ‘Wah Wah’ are as playfully simple as the title suggests.

Lead single ‘Gamma Knife’, meanwhile, takes its name from a type of non-invasive brain surgery and encourages the listener to “come on through the door, see, it’s your unborn self”. It also features two solid minutes of drum-solo freak-out in slippery 11/8 time. If Tame Impala-offshoot Pond forgot to take their Ritalin, they’d probably end up making something like this.