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The Talon Tribune

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Releases a New Album That Sounds Completely Different from Ever Before

Paul Hudson
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at the Moth Club. Photo courtesy of Paul Hudson Public Domain. Pictured is Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is likely one of the most prolific bands right now, being a six-piece psychedelic rock band from Australia, who have found various bursts of success after their critically acclaimed albums “I’m In Your Mind Fuzz,” and “Nonagon Infinity.”

Since their formation in 2010, they have released a total of 24 studio albums, ranging from thrash metal to garage rock, to synth-pop, to even microtonality. However, on October 27, the band moved in a new direction with “The Silver Cord,” a sister album to “Petro-Dragonic Apocalypse,” which takes the band into a variety of electronic sounds using synthesizers, electronic drums, and keytars.

This album comes in two forms: the about 30-minute Standard Version, and the almost 90-minute long extended version. For this review, the extended version of the album will be covered, as it fleshes out the artistic vision that the band has for the album much more.

Each one of the seven tracks calls back to tracks from the previous album, “Petro-Dragonic Apocalypse.” This includes the chanting of ‘Motor… Spirit…” within Theia, or the use of lyrics from “Dragon” in “Swan Song,” which is interesting considering the two albums have incredibly separate sounds of thrash metal and electro-pop.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard makes it clear that despite the harshly different sounds of “Petro-Dragonic Apocalypse” & “The Silver Cord”, they are two sides of the same coin. Additionally, the titles of each track connect with a figure or object of mythology. For example, Chang’e is a figure from ancient Chinese mythology, and Gilgamesh is derived from ancient Mesopotamian mythology. All these little details make so much more of a difference in this album, showing how much King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard puts into their work, despite not having a single break since 2018.

“The Silver Cord” also takes the band in a whole new direction, ditching all of their fierce riffs, driving basslines, and explosive drums and instead replacing them with a mellow album that keeps the foreboding energy from the previous album, as they replace all of the instruments with keyboards with more chill synth sounds, though some tracks are more aggressive than others. No one track is like the other, as despite them all being electronic, they all venture into many different subgenres, going from techno to house, to jungle, all while retaining the same kind of trippy psychedelic sound, showcasing the bands ability to innovate and adapt.

However, it is worth mentioning where the band fell short with the album. First off, the vocals (except for Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s rapping) suffer in this album. When considering the impressive vocals that lead vocalist and guitarist Stu Mackenzie has produced in the past, with albums such as “Nonagon Infinity,” and “Petro-Dragonic Apocalypse,” the vocals feel weak. The instrumentals are also not as strong in this album, as the previously mentioned driving and explosive instrumentals of past releases are not present here.

Despite this, they also got many things right. Calling back to previous albums has always been something that King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard has done, such as using riffs from other songs of theirs in future releases, or even the appearance of characters from other albums in other ones. However, in “The Silver Cord”, its callbacks to “Petro-Dragonic Apocalypse” are very strong and clear, which uses the most minuscule details of previous songs so that the most astute of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard fans will realize almost instantaneously. Something that was explored in their 2022 release “Omnium Gatherum,” rapping vocals by Ambrose Kenny-Smith reappear in the tracks “Set” and “Gilgamesh”, and they are much more dynamic than previous appearances.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s newest release is an exciting one that gets many aspects of the music right, while also trying a whole new approach to the music. The album is generally a very good album, with only small flaws that don’t disrupt listening, making it an accessible and innovative experience for anyone who enjoys the band already or may want to start listening to the band.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Scogin
Matthew Scogin, Staff Writer

Matthew is in 10th grade. This is their first time taking journalism. They are taking journalism because they want to publish articles about things they enjoy. They are involved in Silver Creek’s Marching Band and Concert Band. In their free time, they listen to music. Some of their interests include listening to and playing music, writing, philosophy, drawing, and reading.

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