There’s a big difference between quality and quantity, especially when it comes to music. Unlike other bands that try to balance this method, Melbournian psychedelic rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are one of the artists able to pull off this move with no hesitation. After experimenting with microtones on their first of four records for 2017; “Flying Microtonal Banana”, the boys are now halfway into the four album process with “Murder of the Universe”.
“Murder of the Universe” is a record that steps into a more conceptual basis, not like “Nonagon Infinity” was, but in more of the form of a story, divided into three chapters with twenty one tracks. There’s a narrative figure in each track speaking of things in relating to the human behaviour and other topics that are translated into a sci-fi/fantasy depiction.
Chapter One: The Tale of the Altered Beast comes in the presence of some garage-acid inspired Black Sabbath type of riffs with a bit of extra speed. Already, from the beginning of the chapter with A New World, you’re going to experience an unsettling aura, but still feel enticed as to what lies ahead from there, onwards.
Chapter Two: The Lord of Lightning vs Balrog comes across as somewhat of a reprise to “Nonagon Infinity”, along with the stylistics of “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon,” and “I’m in Your Mind Fuzz,” lyrically and even the beginning of the chapter gives off the hint. Some of those reprises include the ‘nonagon infinity’ chanting, a Mr Beat outro and Evil Death Roll riff, Trapdoor played on the flute, and more, scattered all around the track.
Chapter Three: Han-Tyumi and the Murder of the Universe is a terrifying, but very well constructed piece that is divided into six tracks with titles such as ‘Welcome to an Altered Future’, ‘Vomit Coffin’ and ‘Digital Black’. From my own thoughts, Han-Tyumi is an anagram for ‘humanity’, and what King Gizzard may be implying is that humanity is the murderer of the universe, and with the use of the word ‘vomit’ being used constantly, it possibly symbolises a metaphor for cleansing humanity, if you will.
As far as the sound goes, King Gizzard still have the lo-fi psychedelic ring going as they usually do. I wouldn’t say it’s matured, but it remains appetising to the ear, and King Gizzard still display the metamorphosis of psychedelia and progressive garage rock in a different style. “Murder of the Universe” is gritty, nauseating, energetic and bizarre. All of which form a great example as to how diverse and insane King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are able to produce.
While I really dug their experimentation on “Flying Microtonal Banana”, I feel that “Murder of the Universe” has grown to be the more significant quarter, so far. If this is a case of ‘it gets better after each album’, then I wonder how great the fourth album King Gizzard will bring to us before 2017 is finished! All I have to say is – “Murder of the Universe” is killer, and I’m definitely keen to hear what King Gizzard are incarnating in “Sketches of Brunswick East”.
Get your copy of Murder of the Universe here!