Flying Microtonal Banana

Flying Microtonal Banana

by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

CD

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Overview

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard spent their early years honing their tripped-out psychedelic pop sound, then after proving themselves masters of the form with the 2014 album I'm in Your Mind Fuzz, decided that every release they did would have some kind of thematic hook or experiment driving its creation and execution. Paper Mâché Dream Balloon was all done on acoustic instruments; Quarters consisted of four ten-minute songs; and the amazing prog-psych epic Nonagon Infinity was touted as the world's first continuously looping album. A band less dedicated to being weird would have packed it in at this point and gone back to cranking out blown-out psych rockers, but these guys are way too dedicated for that. For their 2017 album Flying Microtonal Banana, King Gizzard decided to investigate microtonal tuning, a non-Western way of tuning that involves intervals smaller than a semitone. They had a custom-made guitar gifted to them, then realized they needed to create other microtonal instruments to match. With a $200 budget each, the bandmembers bought new gear and altered the instruments so they could be tuned in a way that made them compatible. The new tunings don't radically change the band's way of doing things; the songs are still crunchy, twisting jams that have huge hooks and exciting sections of instrumental prowess where they join together in a furious wave of sound that almost feels unstoppable. This time though, the melodies are are more exotic (to ears attuned to Western music anyway) and complex, as the leads are played by the differently tuned guitars, howling Turkish horns, and murky keyboards, giving them a psychedelic twist. The opening "Rattlesnake" sets the scene over seven long minutes of hypnotic guitars and chants, then the following tunes take things to mellower, trance-like places ("Melting"), dole out intense bursts of heavy rock that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Nonagon ("Open Water"), delve into some East-meets-West balladry ("Billabong Valley"), and make the kind of expansive, perfectly layered psych they've specialized in for years ("Nuclear Fusion," "Anoxia"). As the album concludes, it's clear that the experiment was a success and that the microtuned instruments fit in perfectly with their oddball aesthetic. It's also evident that King Gizzard can do no wrong, and as the first of five planned albums for 2017, Flying Microtonal Banana will be hard for them to top. It also sends a message to other bands plying a similar trade that they better step up their games if they want to stay close to King Gizzard's level.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/24/2017
Label: Ato Records
UPC: 0880882286927
catalogNumber: 228692
Rank: 17398

Album Credits

Performance Credits

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard   Primary Artist
Joey Walker   Guitar,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Ambrose Kenny-Smith   Harmonica,Vocals
Stu Mackenzie   Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Zurna
Michael Cavanagh   Percussion,Bongos,Drums
Lucas Skinner   Bass Guitar
Cook Craig   Guitar,Bass Guitar
Eric Moore   Bongos,Drums

Technical Credits

Jason Galea   Artwork,Layout
Joey Walker   Composer
Ambrose Kenny-Smith   Composer
Stu Mackenzie   Composer,Engineer

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