Extravagant From Start to Finish
Marking the fourth out of five albums released in 2017, Australia’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s Polygondwanaland is a stylish mold of progressive and psychedelic rock that’s an extravagant album from start to finish. Not only is it an album to definitely cop, it’s also an album that’s free. Therefore, you have no reason to not download it. The band basically gave the album to their fans so they could do what they want with it.
Complete with thrashy guitar riffs and both epic and sonic theatrics, the bar is raised with each transition to the next song. This is simply stoner rock at its finest — it’s grungy, it’s sludgy, it’s catchy. It’s heavy and fun with tinges of classic rock in between. Each track warrants its own place on the album, with the first track really setting the scene for the rest.
“Crumbling Castle” is just the tip of the iceberg with this album. A staggering almost 11-minute long track, listeners are met with a long, winding monster of a song that has no end to its psychedelic influences. Stacked with classic harmonies and lyrics reminiscent of a different era, this song gives exact insight into the group and their influences. It’s a sound that will transport you to a different place. When listening to this song it’s hard to not think of the ’60s and ’70s, where trippy sounds like this were more common than not. Bandleader Stu Mackenzie’s vocals are as sweet as ice cream and pie, perfectly accentuating towering guitar chords and wildly out-there bass grooves. If you can get through this first song, the rest of the album will be a piece of cake. And in all honesty, it’s not hard to get through at all. These songs are perfect for a commute or a road trip in the car somewhere. Just turn the album on and go.
Each track flows seamlessly to the next, with the synth-heavy “Polygondwanaland” and the harrowing “The Castle In The Air” following effortlessly after. “Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet” is an album favorite, starting off with highly memorable instrumentals that jog your brain and get the blood flowing. It’s a song that makes you want to dance, complete with wispy vocals from beginning to end. Each song listed so far sounds massively different than the last, yet still seems to transition together well.
The slower tempo of “Inner Cell” morphs into the much more synth-heavy “Loyalty.” “Loyalty” is a completely dark synth-filled song adorned with light vocals and lyrics. It’s another favorite off the album. The production makes it sound like it came right out of the “Stranger Things” soundtrack. The track is very psychedelic and jazzy before jumping into “Horology,” featuring matching guitar and bass lines along a funky drum beat. “Horology” exercises the delicate vocals of Mackenzie against an upbeat tempo.
“Tetrachromacy” features acoustic guitars against a pleasant set of drums. “Searching…” is dark and evil sounding, featuring a slow buildup to the final track. The song is downright eerie as Mackenzie sings about being a blank space. The final track, “The Fourth Colour,” is the second longest song on the album, clocking in at just over six minutes. Funky and groovy, this song applies a bunch of different elements in order to get a final product. It’s the final favorite off the whole album. The track is absolutely ethereal, bringing about the feeling of completely tripping out. It really blasts listeners with a final dose of psychedelic rock.
Each song speaks for itself, a wholly unique venture that was one of the better albums of last year. With each track a work of instrumental genius, new bits to enjoy can be discovered with each subsequent listen.