Posted: February 25, 2017 in MUSIC
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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a testament to the liberating power of giving yourself restrictions. Whether making every song on a record the exact same length (2015’s Quarters!), or constructing an entire album to connect into an infinite loop (last years previous release Nonagon Infinity ), this Aussie armada thrive on the symbiotic relationship between governing principles and disorder. The result is psychedelic rock that plays like a pinball game—the action may be confined to an enclosed playing field, but it’s always moving, ping-ponging in unexpected directions and encouraging synapse overload.

The band’s latest—reportedly, the first of five albums they’re planning to pump out this year—is likewise bound to a motif, though this one is as much sonic as structural. Flying Microtonal Banana was the product of Gizzard king Stu Mackenzie acquiring a custom-made guitar modified for microtonal tuning, which allows for intervals smaller than the semitones that govern Western music. And since the new guitar could only be played with similarly tuned instruments, he reportedly paid his bandmates $200 each to also get their gear tricked out with microtonal capabilities. Translation for those who don’t hold a degree in music theory: Australia’s wiggiest band has found a way to hoist its freak flag a few inches higher up the pole.

If the unrelenting Nonagon Infinity turned rock’n’roll into an Iron Man competition, Flying Microtonal Banana is that cool-down grace period your elliptical machine gives you after an hour’s workout. While opener “Rattlesnake” immediately reestablishes the preceding album’s motorik momentum, the pace is tempered—more late-night cruise than rocket to the moon. But even as it maintains a steadier course, the changes in scenery are more dramatic—in between Mackenzie’s chirpy verses about reptilian attacks, the song powers through a fog of stormy synths, staccato guitar pricks, and the brain-scrambling squawks of a Turkish horn-type instrument known as a zurna.  Flying Microtonal Banana’s more relaxed vibe and greater sense of space bring his words into sharper focus. As per psych-rock tradition, Mackenzie deals in surrealist imagery, though in this case, those images aren’t the mere product of a chemically clouded mind. “Melting” combines rhythms from ’70s Nigeria with observations on the present-day Arctic (“Toxic air is/Here to scare us/Fatal fumes from/Melting ferrous”).


This is the 2nd official Flightless pre-order for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 9th studio LP “Flying Microtonal Banana”. The album will be released worldwide on February 24th 2017.
This album is available in the Blue Toxic Mustard edition limited to 2000 worldwide (1000 have already been sold through the Flightless web store, this is the remaining 1000). The record comes in a deluxe reflective gold sleeve, printed on thick 350 GSM reverse board. It contains a download card and toxic blue & mustard colour in colour wax.

Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard plan to release five studio albums in 2017.

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