King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Infest the Rats’ Nest
Infest the Rats’ Nest is the 15th studio album since 2012 from Australia’s resident psych-rock weirdos King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Let that sink in: 15 albums in 7 years. It’s hard to name a band with more experimental, restlessly creative energy—and the drive to commit so much of it to the studio. It should come as no surprise that Infest the Rats’ Nest may be King Gizz’s most out-there album yet—but not for their usual oddball time-signatures or esoteric instruments. Rats’ Nest is a down and dirty heavy-metal record. And it is heavy as hell. With
“Planet B,” the album opens on a punishing double-bass drum run before a Ride the Lightning -era riff lands like a hammer. Metallica, Slayer, Judas Priest and Megadeth are all over this bad boy. Coming from a band best known for lengthy, knotty, prog-psych workouts, the bare and blistering, straightforward power of these nine tracks proves an undeniable, giddily fun experiment. Part of that rawness is personnel— Rats’ Nest was recorded by just a trio of the band’s usual seven members. That it’s still credited as a King Gizz album, though, shows a band untethered by expectations, refreshingly detached from image. Tracks like “Organ Farmer,” “Venusian 2” and “Self-Immolate” are wall-to-wall riffs blasted forward by explosive, how’d-he-do-it drumming. And “Perihelion” packs in a spooky, gothic, Black Sabbath touch to the mix. Though Rats’ Nest is a major left turn sonically, as an experiment, it’s a fiery success. 15 albums in, and this band is clearly just getting started.