If you haven’t heard of King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, then why the hell not? Even if it’s just for the name alone?!
The band’s first full length, 12 Bar Bruise is a noisy affair, but my gosh is it good. Having been acquainted with their noisy, skuzzy rock’n’roll for a bit over a year now, it’s so freakin’ great to see the boys put forward a big fat collection of songs that really affirm that sound their known for as well as cementing their place in the Melbourne scene.
First things first though. Something I was a little hesitant about before I heard this release was whether it was just going to be a collection of nutbag, thrown at
the wall stuff that although good, at 12 songs long, might have been a little tedious.
Thankfully I was wrong.
Although I do listen to it and feel as though I’m being thrown around some dingy, dirty pub, there are some differences that hit you throughout it. There’s moments where it gives you a chance to chill a bit at the bar with a Melbourne Bitter in hand before again losing your absolute shit. The title track, ’12 Bar Bruise’ provides one of those moments – an almost disturbed bluesy lullaby of sorts that although a little nuts, forces you to calm down a bit.
But then there’s that amazing sound that the King Gizzard boys are known for. We’re acquainted with early singles ‘Elbow’ and ‘Bloody Ripper’. Their thrown together, but still tightly structured feel had us hooked a fair while back. New tracks ‘High Hopes Low’, ‘Garage Liddiard’, true to life Meredith Music Festival medical emergency ‘Uh Oh, I Called Mum’, and the 80’s and 90’s AFL ode and album closer, ‘Footy Footy’ continue that tradition, and all really own that throw shit at the wall and see what sticks attitude.
It’s also a really cohesive album, an album full of great tracks that all complement each other. The album is structured really nicely, and so are the tracks themselves. At midway through the disc we’re hit with, ‘Sam Cherry’s Last Shot’ (featuring narration from harmonica dude Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s father and ex Dingoes frontman Broderick Smith), a drawn out heavy bluesy groove that contrasts really nicely against Broderick’s energetic narration. The next track, ‘Cut Throat Boogie’, sits so well as an answer to ‘Sam Cherry’s Last Shot’. A raucous harmonica filled pushy number, it’s father and son showing the rest who’s best.
But, for me, the standouts sit a few tracks from the beginning and one track from the end. New single ‘Muckraker’ feels as though a pop song has gotten in on with a surfy, 60’s rock’n’roll track. The changes in tempo force you to move with it. Muckraker then leads into ‘Nein’, another melodic pop track that sounds as though it must’ve been abducted by a group of drunken pub crawlers.
The second last track, ‘Sea of Trees’ also gets me. Sure, it’s a pretty messed up and deals with some rather intense thought processes, but I think the fact that it sits between a track about bass player Lucas’s Meredith disaster (‘Uh Oh, I Called Mum’) and a track which literally just lists Joe’s fave footy players (‘Footy Footy’), ultimately affirms the idea that for the King Gizzard boys, being able to throw a bunch of mates together in a room, and lose your shit for a bit whilst writing some killer songs, well that’s all that matters in the end.
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