King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’

29 August 2019
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’
  • Лейбъл: Flightless/ATO
  • Издаден: 2019
  • Aвтор: Никола Шахпазов
  • Оценка:

It takes a bit of time to start pronouncing it without a stutter - KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD. But it takes considerably longer to get used to the simple idea these guys are from the same planet, if not the same continent as you.

This 7-piece Aussie outfit is stylistically amorphous, highly conceptually and enigmatic beast of rock, that already spawned 15 albums in mere 7 years (5 of them in 2017 alone!).
Maybe they’re just a bunch of guys who never leave the comfy studio space, you ask? Nothing of the kind. These here youngsters possess enormous energy and their heavy-duty batteries are far from empty - they have been touring pretty much non-stop for the last 3 years, rasiing reasonable questions of how, on Earth, do they manage to compose, record and even shoot videos to accompany their songs? They don’t ever sleep, probably.
Apart from being hard to pinpoint, through the years KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD earned a name as a prog/psyche/hard rock/art rock/art pop band that knows full well how to coin out long and complex compositions, yet understand the value of simpler pop tunes too.
When they announced they were making their first metal album ever, lots of people appeared confused and weren’t shy of voicing their concerns. Yet, it should serve as little surprise that KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD are heading for new and unexplored shores.
After all, their music so far has featured a high dose of BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE and many other hard/heavy influences, making ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’ anything but a sensational turn of events.
It is, however, peculiar that they aimed at thrash metal in particular - in their own words highly influenced METALLICA, OVERKILL and MOTÖRHEAD’s ‘Sacrifice’ as the simple drive of these bands differs so much from their usual approach.
Good news is KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD did it once again and fulfilled their own goals. What’s even better ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’ still feels like their own album and can hardly be mistaken for a new DESTRUCTION or EXODUS release.
The ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’ concept is clear from the get-go, with vocalist STU MACKENZIE spitting out lyrics:“There is no Planet B/Open your eyes and see”. What follows are more eco/our-planet-is-in-grave-danger lyrics, followed by a more ‘Total Recall’/’Blade Runner’ sci-fi approach with a grim future of poor people left at the polluted Earth, rich bastards living on Mars and rebels heading for Venus.
Sticking close to the speedy thrash concept, the album boasts 9 tracks in mere 34 minutes. And while ‘Organ Farmer’ or the two-parter ‘Venusian’ are very 80’s, oldschool and metal, ‘Mars For the Rich’ and ‘Superbug’ sound much more BLACK SABBATH-esque and rockn’n’roll, while ‘Self-Immolate’ appears to be a mix of the two plus some KING GIZZARD quirkiness.
Apart from the complete lack of keys (fans of the band realise how strange that is), ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’ is indeed a strange release even within the band’s already non-standard discography. An experiment that is not going to be repeated soon. These tracks are evidently conceived fast, passionately and for the Aussie boys’ very personal satisfaction and sound more like a “see what we can do” jam session. Apart from the masterfully conceived bunch of joyous tracks, ‘Infest The Rats' Nest’ somehow lacks the depth, the spite and the true galloping spirit of thrash, so it can hardly appeal to the genre’s die-hard fans. By all means KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD’s second 2019 album is recommended but not an absolutely required listen.