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Garage Rock-influence thrash metal Fun - 85%

nik0linh0, August 18th, 2019

Australia's prolific recording, genre-bending jam band took their love for switching things up by producing one of the most fun and light-hearted takes on heavy metal I've heard in a number of years. Starting as a throwaway comment in an interview, Stu Mackenzie's love for old school speed and thrash metal materialized as King Giz dropped their first single, "Planet B" days before releasing their synth-heavy poppy record "Fishing for Fishies." King Gizzard are no strangers to releasing plenty of music, famously releasing 5 very different records in one year. stretching from Middle Eastern-influenced microtone experimentation in the Flying Microtonal Banana to progressive hard rock epic Murder of the Universe.

This is their first real step into heavy metal, while albums like Murder of the Universe and Nonagon Infinity dipped their toes into the genre. From melodic speed metal-influenced "Mars for the Rich" and "Perihelion," absolutely killer thrasher "Self-Immolate" to Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats-esce "Superbug," the band always manages to put their own unique spin on established genres. A little psychedelic, a little garage-rocky, I think this is the perfect primer for people just getting into King Gizzard for the first time because you get a little bit of everything they are known for. The whooping and hollering of Stu Mackenzie on lead vocals, singing of the collapse of the environment and a dystopian sci-fi future where "Mars is for the Rich, Earth is for the Poor", the fuzzy garage rock quality to the guitar tone, the bass lines that are placed in the mix perfectly to add a little groovy mix to the chugging low-E riffing. This is also my favourite drumming performance from the band. Watching their two-drummers syncronize drum fills and double-bass rhythms are quite a sight live too, like an even more hipster Melvins.

I think the band relies a little too heavily on the "trilling" guitar lick and basic pentatonic soloing to create a barrier between riffs a little too much for my liking, it gets pretty irritating after a while. I think the band is at it's best with psychedelic, fuzzy doom rock in tracks like "Superbug," with an obnoxiously catchy chorus, fun riffing and entertaining enough lyrics, or when they throw everything at the wall with the crazy heavy "Self-Immolate," drawing influence from bands like Slayer, Metallica and Kreator (Stu's words, not mine). It's maximum cheese, but I think it's great.

Overall, while I don't think it's their best record (Murder of the Universe maybe taking that spot, in my opinion) it's definitely a great listen for folks who like a little quirky take on a genre the band members obviously love quite a bit. Give it a shot.