King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana (Flightless Records, February 24th, 2017)

One of the craziest band around it’s in practice back in a while (the last one, ‘Nonagon Infinity’ was out last April 2016) with the release of their 9th studio LP. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Melbourne, Australia, formed in 2010. Their first LP (’12 Bar Bruise’) was out only in 2012. From that moment the psychedelic ensemble, formed by seven elements, has started releasing new materials continuously and if you think that they’re probably reached their limits you’re wrong because, listen to this one, they are expected (standing at their plan) to release totally number five studio albums in 2017.

Let’s see what will happen…

Knowing they’re so eccentric and at the same time so free by any kind of regulation, it won’t be absolutely strange if in the end they will reach into complete their mission. On the other hand, as I said into the introduction, the first one of this five studio albums is out yet. And what really surprised me again it’s not only the fact they’re so prolific and inventive, but also the fact they this time really did what I consider a very good album and full of interesting contents both technical that conceptual and much more than this simply because the songs contained in it are absolutely great.

Anticipated by three singles since the end of 2016, ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ was officially out on February 24 renewing the collaboration of the AUS band with the Flightless Records, the same label which they released previously ‘Nonagon Infinity’. What’s actually their first-ever experience in microtonal tuning (which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves) took start because Stu MacKenzie acquired a custom-made guitar modified for playing this tune and subsequently he convicted his bandmates to follow him into this experimentation. Inevitably a new album, the most ambitious and the most interesting they released until this moment and probably also their masterpiece or in any case one of the bests they recorded into these years.

Opening with ‘Rattlesnake’, a powerful obsessive tones psychedelic track more than seven minutes longer, possibly the manifesto of the entire album, ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ it’s an album which has got a wild and weird nature. Absolutely free-style into the sense intended by artists like Frank Zappa or Red Krayola, King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard did an interesting work into the study of playing in microtonal tuning, but not because of this the music of the album it’s some way conventional. Influenced by sonorities from the western Africa (‘Melting’, ‘Open Water’, ‘Anoxia’…) combined with freaky hallucinate psychedelia (‘Doom City’),’Flying Microtonal Banana’ it’s an unconventional episode of acid psychedelia that because of its nature would be appreciated by who is traditionally into psychedelia and also seventies funky experiences like Funkadelic/Parliament, but also by who is into world music and interested to bands like Tinariwen, Tamikrest and all of the Mali experiences of the last years following the interest of Hugo Race, Chris Eckman and Chris Brokaw into this reality. Multicoloured, absolutely crazy, ‘open-spaced’, obsessive, groovy and krautrockin’ jammed, ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’ it’s a true acid trip experience. Culturally open-minded like a journey around a fictionary sci-fi world narrated into a novel by Jack Vance, magnificent like the construction of a modern Ziqqurat at the edge of the world, on the peak of the Himalaya, crazy like a off-key confused old ‘pappagallo’.

Rating: 9/10

Emiliano D’Aniello


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