King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Måché Dream Balloon
Until now, Melbourne’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have seemingly been content to be a good ol’ Kraut-boogie jammy band, happily pushing themselves into new territory (such as on last year’s improv-heavy Quarters!), but one of many acts working in similar surf-fuzz territory. On Paper Måché Dream Balloon, the band’s ATO debut, however, the Australian, male-fronted septet go semi-acoustic, keep the pulse and the space flute, and come out as a whole new Lizard Wizard. Overloaded with busy drum parts and a hyperactive group mind sense of detail, songs like “Dirt” and “Bone” come out as sun-dappled, falsetto-topped rural-psych that is accessible, adventurous and fun. Dream Balloon doesn’t lose the big, loping, surf-Kraut grooves, and the squad channels a more restrained Canned Heat on the album’s longest track, the four-and-a-half minute “Bitter Boogie.” Finding the unknown halfway point between Woods and Thee Oh Sees, everything is glistening and golden across the lands of the fair and just King Gizzard. Peaceable Beatles harmonies and acoustic guitars float through (“Most of What I Like”), sitars and harmonicas drone together (“Cold Cadaver”), and King Gizzard & Co. manage the heady feat of creating music as new and unusual as it is familiar.