Posts Tagged ‘Ambrose Kenny-Smith’

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While Austin, Texas has long been keeping things weird with a healthy psych-rock scene, the Australian city of Melbourne has been creeping up as the psych capital of the world in recent years. Although The Murlocs came up at the same time as groups like The Black Angels and Night Beats, the band has consistently been winning over more listeners as they benefit from the wild success of groups like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, with whom they have overlapping members. 

As the release date for their latest album “Rapscallion” approaches, The Murlocs have never felt more comfortable amongst a growing scene of weirdo-psych bands matching the playful energy on full display in the group’s video for new single “Compos Mentis,” which sees each band member emerge from a trash can/trash bag as they jam the relatively restrained, fairly soulful, and immediately catchy track about vibing at the junkyard. “After a long day of truck stop fights, hitchhiking, and getting kicked off trains, our beloved rapscallion protagonist decides to spend the night in an abandoned junkyard,” vocalist Ambrose Kenny-Smith explains, setting up the clip. “Finding peace within the garbage that surrounds him, he begins to question his purpose in life and whether or not he’s in control of his own mind.”

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The Murlocs have announced their fifth studio album, “Bittersweet Demons”, to be released June 25th, 2021! On the band’s most personal and boldly confident work yet, The Murlocs share a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on our lives, the saviours and hell-raisers and assorted other mystifying characters. 

New Murlocs We are thrilled to announce The Murlocs will be released on June 25th on ATO Records. Watch the official clip for the new single “Francesca”, out now,

“Francesca” was written as a celebration of the life of frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s mom. With music written by Murlocs’ keyboard and guitarist Tim Karmouche, Ambrose says of the lyrics, “The song is about my mother and how she had been lost for love since the separation from my father when I was 10.

In the last year and a half or so, she’s found love again, with a very close family friend of ours, someone who has always been a godfather and mentor to me in many ways. This has changed her spirit immensely for the better. You can really see the pop in her step as this enormous weight has been lifted off her shoulders.” Citing some of his favourite songs as being odes to impressive women―like Van Morrison’s “Gloria”Ambrose explains, “Francesca is my mother’s middle name and I’ve always loved it so much.” Of turning his song writing lens to his mother, and celebrating her rediscovered joie de vivre, he adds, “It’s probably the most positive, feel-good song we’ve ever done. It’s also the closest we’ve ever come to having an 80s phase.”

Directed by Alex McLaren, the “Francesca” video was shot at the end of April 2020. The band’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia was coming out of one of its first COVID lockdown periods and restrictions had eased for a short period of time. The band and director quickly jumped on the opportunity to shoot while they had the chance.

Says Ambrose, “I remembered being at a festival and bumping into our longtime video-clip collaborator and friend, Alex Mclaren. I had brought him back to our campsite and he played the song “I Love LA” by Randy Newman which ultimately brought the tents down and got the party started.” Newman’s 1983 classic soft-top music video informed “Francesca”, with the car footage being shot along Ivanhoe Boulevard in Melbourne where Ambrose’s mom grew up.

“Bittersweet Edition”•Limited-edition of 500••Tangerine, black and white colored vinyl. A-side/B-side effect• Blue Eyed Runner Edition” White vinyl with baby blue splatter, Custom inner-sleeve and lyrics insert

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The prolific Melbourne band played their biggest-ever headline show to date at the 10,000-capacity venue in the capital, with the promise of “a new set, new songs and a whole new visual experience” being made by the psych-rock troupe. This was an anomaly. An Australian psychedelic rock band, blessed with the kind of name a 14-year-old comes up with during a particularly boring double maths lesson, sells out the 10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace with little radio support and no hit records. What’s more, their latest of many albums since 2012 (they released five in 2017 alone) is a ferocious thrash metal concept piece about ecological disaster called Infest the Rat’s Nest. No focus group would come up with the King Gizzard approach to musical success.

The heady, inspired, confusing, and addictive path King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard set out on almost a decade ago has led to this point. Announcing – and then swiftly selling out – a headline date at Alexandra Palace, the Australian group took on one of North London’s most imposing venues. A historic landmark, thousands of fans descended on the people’s palace for the show, an indication of just how big these psychedelic outlaws actually are. Rampaging through their leviathan-like catalogue, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard pulled out all the stops for the biggest night of their lives.

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Released December 24th, 2020

Live at Alexandra Palace, London, England, October 5th 2019
Recorded by our sound crew: Sam Joseph, Stacey Wilson, Gaspard De Meulemeester

Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have released a new single and music video, entitled “Straws In The Wind”. The video finds the Australian cross-genre rockers in the midst of a green screen twister.

This latest single follows recently-released tracks “Some Of Us” and “Honey“. “Straws In The Wind” also comes as the first single King Gizzard has put out since drummer/manager Eric Moore announced his departure from the group late last month.

The video for “Straws In The Wind”, a song that features Ambrose Kenny-Smith on lead vocals, finds the band employing a green screen to its fullest potential. With footage of tornadoes ripping through landscapes, and the band getting hit with actual debris whirling around the room, Amby ponders the philosophical query, “Straws in the wind/Is it all ending?” While the title may bring to mind the Kansas classic “Dust In The Wind”, it’s clear that King Gizzard took little inspiration from the classic rockers.

Amby and Stu collab on the tune and Jase is back on the tools for the video. Damn this was fun to make! We shot trash around the room with a leaf blower and pretended that we were in a trash tornado. What has the world come to…

Watch the new music video for “Straws In The Wind” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.

Filmed, edited and directed by Jason Galea Additional filming, wardrobe and direction by Ambrose Kenny-Smith Amby: Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards Cavs: Drums, Percussion Cookie: Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Sitar Stu: Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion, Flute Recorded by Stu Mackenzie and Michael Cavanagh

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have dropped two new live albums on their BandCamp. The records, Live in Paris ‘19andLive in Adelaide ‘19, are the first live albums released by the band, with all proceeds going towards Wildlife Victoria and Animals Australia in the wake of the Australian wildfires that nearly a billion animals have died from.

Both records were mixed by frontman Stu Mackenzie.

The recordings draw a majority of their sets from the band’s recent “Fishing For Fishies” and “Infest The Rats Nest” albums (one is psych-pop, one is heavy metal – go figure), with both clocking in at 18 and 19 tracks respectively.

The band is set to kick off their 2020 with a huge North American tour that will see them performing three-hour sets, including two nights at the acclaimed Red Rocks Amphitheater. Not bad for a group of genre schizophrenic rockers.

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Live at L’Olympia, Paris, France, October 14, 2019.

100% OF PROCEEDS GO TO WILDLIFE VICTORIA

released January 10th, 2020

The Band:
Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have released a third live album to raise funds for Australian wildlife charities.

All proceeds from the new Brussels live album go to WIRES Wildlife Rescue, while proceeds from the Adelaide album go to Animals Australia, and proceeds from the Paris album go to Wildlife Victoria. Bandcamp has also agreed to donate its share of the revenue from the releases to fire relief charities.

This third recording of two Brussels concerts, captured October 8th-9th, 2019 at Ancienne Belgique, joins the two live albums the prolific psych rock group released on January 10th in their first fundraising effort. Those were recordings of their July 12th, 2019 concert at Adelaide’s The Barton Theatre and their October 14th, 2019 show at Paris’ L’Olympia.

Live at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium, October 8th and 9th 2019

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The Band:

Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys / Vocals: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey Walker

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

Tracks 1-9 recorded on October 8th
Tracks 10-17 recorded on October 9th

King Gizzard Lizard Wizard live albums Adelaide Paris fundraise

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard drop live albums in support of bush fire effort,  the group, highly regarded for their incredible live performances, have yet to grace us with a live album – until now, and they’ve gifted us one, but two! live albums all available on their Bandcamp site.

The band has dropped Live In Adelaide ’19 and Live In Paris ’19to help with raising money for animals affected by bush fire’s, the former of which’s proceeds will go to Animals Australia and the latter to Wildlife Victoria.

East of Melbourne, everything shrouded by smoke… bushfires have been destroying some of my most treasured sacred spots,  An amazing encapsulation of the genius that is King Gizzard. With so much music in their catalouge you never know what to expect from their live sets and it keeps things fresh and invigorating. These guys are truly a treasure and I love that these live album sales are going towards Australia in their time of need.

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Live at The Barton Theatre, Adelaide, Australia, July 12th 2019
released January 10th, 2020
The Band:
Drums: Michael Cavanagh
Guitar / Keys: Cook Craig
Harmonica / Vocals / Keys / Percussion: Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Vocals / Guitar / Keys: Stu Mackenzie
Drums: Eric Moore
Bass: Lucas Harwood
Guitar / Vocals: Joey WalkerAdam Halliwell (Mildlife): Flute on Hot Water and Head On/Pill

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

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Sit back and strap yourself in as the seven-headed Aussie rock beast King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with Fishing for Fishies”, perhaps their most perfectly-realised album to date. Here is a world where the organic meets the automated; where the rustic meets the robotic. Where the past and future collide in the beautiful present.

The thirteenth album since their 2012 debut – and their first following the release of five vastly different albums in 2017 – Fishing for Fishies is a blues-infused blast of sonic boogie that struts and shimmies through several moods and terrains. From the soft shuffle Outback country of the opening title track through the sunny easy listening of ‘The Bird Song’ (think the lysergically-soaked Laurel Canyon circa 1973) and on through the party funk of ‘Plastic Boogie’ (which somehow summons the spirit of Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions) the road-trucking, Doors-like highway rock of ‘The Cruel Millennial’ and ‘Real Is Real’ – what The Carpenters might have sounded like had they existed entirely on vegemite and weed – it’s a dizzying, dazzling display.

Hell, The Gizz make it look so easy.

And that’s all before we even get to ‘Acarine’, a futurist blues tune which heads off into previously unchartered territories of shimmering Eno-esque ambient and dark John Carpenter-style electro, and the electro squelch of album-closing single ‘Cyboogie’, on which five of the seven King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard members play synths. It’s a stomping vocoder-lead anthem akin to Georgio Moroder or Trans-era Neil Young and a triumphant conclusion to an album that is as surprising as it is thrilling, as unexpected as it is effortless.

“We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

“I didn’t really know who I was by the end of 2017,” continues Stu, of the band’s never-to-be-repeated year, which concluded with the fifth album being released on New Years Eve 2017. “It was a good kind of spent feeling though, as I like being busy. For most of the holiday period I was in the studio doing the last of the recording and mixing on Gumboot Soup. And as soon as it clicked over to 2018 I stopped worrying about recording for a while and started living instead.”

Out of this period came Fishing for Fishies, an album in which musical motifs recur: lush piano, mellotron and synth flourishes (the bulk of the album was written on piano); Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s distinctive harmonica, which brings to mind sidewinders crossing dusty widescreen vistas; a generous dose of vocoder; and a plethora of creative U-turns that conspire to create a general overall sense of man and machine melding together in a thrilling chrome-covered hybrid.

Because Fishing for Fishies is an album looking out across the horizon through mirrored sunglasses while twenty-tonne juggernauts thunder past. Here, perhaps, is a place where the spirit of two key songs released in the same year – Ram Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’ – linger somewhere in the mix. And what may sound absurd on paper is actually the genius work of a band of musicians entirely simpatico with one another after nearly a decade of constant evolution.

“We have travelled a lot – we’ve seen the world – but it all still feels like discovery,” says Stu, in trademark self-effacing style. “We’re still essentially naive kids tinkering around with toys we don’t know how to use in the studio.”

Newcomers to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will find an entire self-contained universe awaits them in a thrilling body of work. Here are grand concepts where albums overlap, riffs resurface, circular songs chase their own tails, grand narratives are told, cryptic lyrics endlessly analysed and a whole army of fans regurgitate the band’s output via a deluge of remixes, memes, visual loops, mind-melting cut-ups and just generally pontificate wildly about everything in The Gizzverse, much of it available on Youtube and internet forums.

“I am aware that it exists,” laughs Stu, of the alternative world that exists in their honour. “But I’m completely social media-less and pretty stone-age really. Good on ‘em for digging deep though.”

Because King Gizzard are no longer a band, they are a cult, a youth movement, an exploration, a double-drumming trip, a cottage industry centred around their own Flightless Records. Many milestones have been ticked off along the way: a headline slot at the UK’s Green Man Festival; a huge sold-out US tour; playing to five thousand people at a sold-out Brixton Academy one day…and then 100 people in the Yorkshire hill town of Hebden Bridge the next. Meanwhile their Gizzfest gathering in Melbourne is now in its fourth year. They are a band to give your life to. Perhaps more than anything they provide transportive fun, a valuable and often-overlooked commodity in an increasingly fraught world.

Best of all, anyone can step into The Gizzverse – anytime, anywhere. No prior understanding is necessary. So whether it’s psyche rock played with breakneck precision (2014’s I’m In Your Mind Fuzz), life-giving acoustic folk and Tropicalia (2015’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), a three-part sci-fi/prog album (2017’s Murder Of The Universeor an album uploaded on an open license so that budding labels worldwide could press their own copies, which they duly did, currently 240 different pressings according to Discogs (2017’s, Polygondwanaland), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard provide it. As Pitchfork noted, they have waged war against two tired clichés: “One, that rock is dead; and two, that the album is dead.” More than that, they have staked their claim as one of the most innovative, exciting and productive bands of the 21st century.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are: Stu Mackenzie (vocals/guitar/flute), Ambrose Kenny-Smith (harmonica/vocals), Cook Craig (guitar/vocals), Joey Walker (guitar), Lucas Skinner (bass), Eric Moore (drums) and Michael Cavanagh (drums).

Flightless heroes The Murlocs are extremely excited to announce their fourth album ‘Manic Candid Episode’ is out today! It’s been a long time between drinks but Uncle Murl is at the peak of his powers from travelling his deliciously dangerous, distorted and dynamic RnB to packed houses around the world.

Five skinny kids with roots firmly placed in their own blown-out, distorted brand of soulful RnB.
Formed in early 2011 by harp player Ambrose Kenny-Smith, The Murlocs have already played alongside Thee Oh Sees, Graveyard Train and Dave Graney.
Their up-tempo snare cracks and noisy doom guitar – accompanied by Ambrose’s vocal screech – has been described as a mesmerising demented dance party.
 

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To celebrate the release the band have announced a Massive five state, six date Australian tour taking them to Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 

the murlocs

Put on a good set of headphones, hit play on The Murlocs sophomore album “Young Blindness”, make sure to turn it up loud to flesh out every detail, and go for a long walk to let the sounds wash right over you without distraction.

More than just a clichéd doppelganger of the psych-blues inspirations from where their sound originates, Young Blindness is an orgy of 60’s and 70’s drug-drenched sounds mixed with newer indie-rock sensibilities. Drawing heavily from such genres is a tricky thing; lean too far towards blues and you’ll sound like an unoriginal cover band, go too far towards psychedelic rock and you’ll likely fade into the mass of indistinguishable psych/garage bands who have more guitar pedals than song-writing ability.

The Murlocs hit that spot in the middle, weaving together all their blues drenched instruments in such a way creating a texture of warm, drifting melodies and catchy guitar hooks. Their expertly crafted songs are indicative of front-man Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s experience in songwriting – and there are definite comparisons with his other venture, the much-lauded King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – but The Murlocs provide him with an avenue for more carefully constructed and direct songs.”

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The album starts off on an upbeat note with the wondrous Happy Face and title track Young Blindness before shifting to a brooding middle section, where the pace is slowed down and the melodies are the focus, before things come full circle towards the end of the album, returning to a high-spirited mood.  Such is the strength of each and every track on Young Blindness, that picking singles based on their merit as individual songs would surely prove impossible.

Take the muffled drawl and looping melodies of Rolling On, the mind-warping and entrancing Wolf Creek, or the bluesy Adolescence that permit the band to show off their moody side. Young Blindness is simply one of those records on which you struggle to find a weak track.

The band releases a great debut, declaring to the world their arrival on the music scene . Then comes the follow-up; they’ve got to maintain the original sound of the first album, yet grow to remain interesting. This kind of pressure can kill a band. Yet this five-piece manage to stay as fresh as ever, producing an album full of consistently stand-out tracks while sticking to their signature sound of swampy bass, harmonious drumming, fuzzed out guitar interplay, that strident drawl of a voice, and well-utilised harmonica sounds of tasty garage blues-rock .

Through Young Blindness, The Murlocs have crafted a tighter older sibling of their debut LP, demonstrated how to do an excellent follow-up album and proven that they’re much more than just a side-project.