Psychedelic garage’s most prolific outfit return with an astounding piece of never-ending music.
Formed in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia, the band has consistently surprised its ever-growing audience with a flurry of records, each wildly different from its predecessor. Nonagon Infinity, their eighth studio album, is no exception. The nine songs flow into each other with no break and an all-consuming, crushing energy. They take us to a very different place than the mellow, sunny tunes that made up Paper Maché Dream Balloon (2015), their previous studio effort. This record was also designed to be played on repeat (hence its name), with the last track ‘linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic Möbius strip’, says frontman Stu Mackenzie.
While versatility is one of their defining traits, the seven-piece has proven their musical worth time and time again, through prog-heavy records (2014’s Quarters!) and straight up garage (I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, released the same year). The band have explored jazzy chord progressions, heavy riffing guitars, toyed with saxophones and flutes, while managing to sound like themselves. Mackenzie’s vocals are often the link between all these strains of psychedelia, a dreamy complaint at times, and a screeching, seething roar at others.
If syncing up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon to The Wizard of Oz in smoky bedrooms was a pastime of yours at any point, you don’t want to miss out on this record. It is relentless, attention-demanding and all-out crazy, as mantras come back through different tracks (‘Nonagon infinity opens the door’ is the album’s opening chant and comes back to haunt you all the way through). Heavy riffs are recycled and twisted into different shapes, and the two drummers’ high-powered motorik beats drive through most tracks like a freight train. Lyrically, this record takes on many forms: dark remarks on humanity’s current state (‘People-Vultures’) and existential crises fit into a larger pattern of sci-fi and apocalyptic themes, where monsters and robots abound. The album’s first video release, ‘Gamma Knife’, has a Jodorowsky-esque feel to it, where monks of a new kind give off a ritualistic vibe, neither fully retro nor futuristic.
If names like Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees come to mind, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have by now proven they are highly capable, highly productive, and their live presence has started turning heads outside the circle of obsessive record collectors and music geeks.