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Album Review: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - 'Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava'

Updated: May 3, 2023

It may be blasphemy to ask this, but does anyone else feel it tiresome to be a King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard fan? It was just in April of this year the group dropped the massive album, Omnium Gatherum. This Friday they drop their newest album titled Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava. In the official press release for the album, singer/guitarist/songwriter Stu Mackenzie explains that he selected seven titles from his list that he felt “had a vibe”, and then attached a beats-per-minute value to each one. Each song would also follow one of the seven modes of the major scale: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.

“I’m not sure if many people will notice that,” says Mackenzie, “but any musical dorks will get it”.

The story has been told before, but it’s important to note again that the opening track of Omnium Gatherum, “The Dripping Tap”, is the product of the hour-long recording session the bandmates had after being separated for many months due to the pandemic. All the work done in this session was edited together into this 18 minute long track. The band agreed to make an album in this exact vain, thus IDPLAL was born. While only 7 tracks, the album still exceeds over an hour in length.

The album is fun. Especially “Lava”. If you played this at a party and danced, it’s guaranteed you would be dizzy by the end. The band definitely channeled psychedelic rock from the 60’s-70’s and it’s the rawest they have sounded in awhile. But..

As a listener, what is this album supposed to mean to us when King Gizzard puts out a ton of music consistently every single year? They can’t be considered for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until 2036. If they keep this pace up, somebody better run the numbers of tracks they’ll have by that time.

I try to be as subjective as possible when it comes to critical review but as a fan of this group, I must voice a little concern. Yes, King Gizzard are pioneers and have set a precedent for not only for those to come but also for themselves. It’s impossible to even really judge their newer music to vintage tracks in their repertoire because of their chameleon sound. When I think of King Gizzard I think of the scene from High Fidelity where Jack Black’s character is so frustrated with how great of a record the delinquents who regularly steal from the record shop created. IDPLAL is a great album, but I hope that this was a one time thing as far as the methodology goes; taking hours of a recording session and splicing it down into tracks to create an album.

Rating - 3.5/5

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