The phrase “uncharted territory” isn’t really a phrase that applies to Australia’s King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. The band, who released five albums in one year, has always experimented with different techniques, methods and genres in their relatively short career. While most people would call them a psych rock band, their second album of this year Infest The Rats’ Nest is far from psychedelic as the band takes their foray into metal well past the toe dipping stage and what emerges is more fully fleshed out than you may be ready for.
The whole album can be laid out by one word, heavy. Opening track “Planet B” wastes no time giving you that early Metallica sound mixed with hints of eighties metal that stays with you. The guitars are all turned up to eleven as the band embraces the guitar solo and riffs that could melt walls. “Organ Farmer” lends it’s sound to thrash though it never really gets going fast enough, “Superbug” has a real seventies metal vibe but it also feels like an homage more than an original sound. And of course, “Perihelion” gives you an Anthrax meets slow Megadeth sound.
Of course, as heavy as the album goes, it’s also not heavy in terms of metal. It’s closer to stoner metal or classic metal than current metal music. Sure, it’s semantics but it’s also true as this brand of metal might not pass muster with those who look forward to headbanging in a parking lot somewhere. The album isn’t bad, as this brand of metal is one we wished we’d get more of. But it’s also closer to a band playing what inspired them and never really breaking new ground. If the fact that this band went metal is supposed to be groundbreaking, we suggest they listen to more modern metal bands.
You can stream Infest The Rats’ Nest on all streaming sites, you can purchase it in all online music stores or you can pick it up physically directly from ATO Records. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is on tour tonight at Roseland Theater in Portland, OR until November 16 and 17 at Maho Rasop Festival in Bankok, Thailand. The band’s complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Jamie Wdziekonski.