King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – The River

Last year Melbourne psych rock septet King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released their acoustic album called Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, but sharing the same release year was an album called Quarters!.  The 5 track album runs close to 45 minutes, featuring some of the band’s longer jams.  The River is the opener and one of my favourite tracks of last year, but it was never destined for radio.

Maybe it was the 10-minute track length.  It probably was, to be honest, but that’s no reason why it didn’t deserve 10 minutes of face melting, psych rock airwaves.  Holding a solid drive and continuity through the track, King Gizzard bend and meld the same riff into various sections, changing tempo into a 70s-inspired jam sesh.  Most of the song is pure repetition of the same verse but is cleverly broken up with solos that build and fade, adding a dynamic to the track that is usually only seen in live performances.  A harmonica flutters in the background of the guitar solos as the bass lines slide up and down the fret board.

King Gizzard are often hailed as the underdogs of the Australian psych rock scene, but the River reassures their smart prowess when it comes to writing music, no matter the genre.  With a discography that grows exponentially each year, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard need to be blown through the speakers.

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