Lizardly and enthralling

It's one thing to prick up unsuspecting ears, as these Melbourne boys did for me with their last album. It's quite another to continue to amaze with more music just a few months down the line. Of course, as the band is planning on releasing five albums this year, they'd better have a few tricks up their sleeve.

King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard
Flying Microtonal Banana
(Flightless Records)

Finding new ways to spice up peppy prog music might seem daunting, but King Gizzard (et. Al) does so with ease. This album is their first jaunt into microtonal tuning (thus the album title), but the casual listener probably won't notice. The band simply uses its new toy as another aural pleasure device.

And yes, this one is gapless as well, though there are fades between songs. If you want some kind of touchpoint, think "Astronomy Domine"-esque Floyd with a much more propulsive rhythm section. These songs move. The kinetic energy is positively thrilling.

So much that you might not appreciate how much is going on within each song. This is one of the most inventive bands on the planet, and they pull it off within a (somewhat) mainstream sound. Maybe that's why this album hit #1 on the Billboard vinyl chart (and charted on the Top 200 as well). Geeks have already united behind these boys, but the rest of the world seems to be waking up as well. Couldn't happen to a better band.

Jon Worley

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