King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are a 7 - piece garage punk band from Melbourne Australia.
The boys started playing together in early 2011 after two groups of friends (one from the ocean, the other from the bush) met at a University in Melbourne. They released their debut EP "Willoughby's Beach" on a limited run of 10" Vinyl in October 2011. The first single “Black Tooth” pricked the ears of Triple J’s Dom Alessio, who dubbed the band :
“a tour de force of reverberated rock’n’roll.”
Second single "Dead-beat" was quickly added to high rotation on Triple J, FBi, RRR and PBS - which culminated in a distribution deal with Shock Records in November 2011.
The band soon gained a devoted and at times visceral Melbourne following - selling out several residencies and their debut EP launch at the Tote Hotel. In the following weeks King Gizzard were nominated for Best New Talent at The Age’s EG Awards alongside Kimbra, Lanie Lane, Royal Headache and Husky.
On December 9 2011 they opened the Meredith Music Festival to overwhelmingly positive reviews - warming up the stage for the likes of Grinderman, Cut Copy, Kurt Vile And The Violators, and Mudhoney.
2012 began with Gizzard being officially “unearthed” by Triple J, winning a spot at the Melbourne Big Day Out. They also landed a tour with US musician Girl Talk performing sold out shows at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney and Palace Theatre in Melbourne.
A national single tour and a spot at the Boogie Festival followed, with the band somehow finding time to record their debut album in the weeks between shows.
In September 2012 they released "12 Bar Bruise" to overwhelmingly positive reviews.
The Age Newspaper described it as:
"Dirty and unashamedly sloppy, psychedelic warts and all" ****"
Whilst the Sydney Morning Herald went on to say:
"This is a fuzz explosion of garage rock revival injected with a healthy dose of surf and psychedelia…What you get is 35 great minutes of mind-blowing rock'n'roll.
The two lead singles "Bloody Ripper" and "Muckraker" were added to high rotation on Triple J and the album was honoured with album of the week on RRR, PBS, SYN, Beat Magazine (which the band would grace the cover) and Tone Deaf.
This resulted in their biggest tour yet selling out shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart. A standout performance at the Bigsound Music Conference in Brisbane proved that the bands frenetic live show was truly a standout amongst other local artists.
A huge 2012/13 summer ensued with appearances at Falls Music and Arts Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, Cherry Rock and a national tour with Jeff The Brotherhood.
In February 2013 (only 5 months on from the release of their debut) the band spontaneously announced their 2nd full-length LP; "Eyes Like The Sky" - a self-proclaimed "spaghetti-western-audiobook" narrated by none other than Dingoes and Carson legend Broderick Smith.
"Eyes Like The Sky" quickly gained attention for it's bizarre concept, ambition and delivery.
The Brag: "no one else in Australia comes to mind as doing anything quite like this, let alone doing it so well." 4.5/5
PBS Radio : “Eyes Like the Sky” is like nothing else released this year – or probably this decade. If Morricone grew up playing gigs at the Tote in Collingwood he might make an album like “Eyes Like the Sky”.
Sydney Morning Herald: "against the odds, King Gizzard has triumphed." ****
This album was celebrated with a sold out show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne which saw 800 locals squeeze into the band room both curious and excited to see what the band would produce.
After a short break travelling and writing it was revealed that King Gizzard had landed their most high profile support yet; a national tour with Australian cult heroes The Drones. This highly sort after tour included shows in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne ending with a once in a lifetime show at the Sydney Opera House.
September 2013 will see the release of their third full length album "Float Along - Fill Your Lungs.
Stu Mackenzie - Vocals, Guitar
Eric Moore - theremin, Casio
Michael Cavanagh - Drums
Lucas Skinner - Bass
Ambrose Kenny-Smith - Harmonica
Joe Walker - Guitar
Cook Craig - Vocals, Guitar
Willoughby's Beach EP (2011)
12 Bar Bruise LP (2012)
Eyes Like The Sky LP (2013)
Float Along - Fill Your Lungs LP (Sep 2013)
[Album Review] 12 Bar Bruise - King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (Flightless/Fuse) ****/5
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12 Bar Bruise King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (Flightless/Fuse)****/5 WITH a name that evoke...12 Bar Bruise
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (Flightless/Fuse)****/5
WITH a name that evokes images of a psychedelic sci-fi fantasy, it's a fair guess that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard aren't in the business of making bland pop music. 12 Bar Bruise, King Gizzard's debut album, is a collage of the wild, deviant and synaesthesic aspects of rock'n'roll. The wild can be found in the frenetic speed-rock opener, Elbow, the pummelling reverb-plagued High Hopes Low and the surf-coast-delinquent-meets-London-lad Uh Oh, I Called Mum. The deviant is King Gizzard's peculiar pop sensibility in Muckraker, the deliciously irreverent Garage Liddiard, and the spoken-word spaghetti western Sam Cherry's Last Shot. The synaesthesic is King Gizzard's explorations of the lysergic-acid-stained territory of the album's title track, the colourful blend of harmony and musical psychosis in Nein, and the freak-filled bewilderment of Sea of Trees. 12 Bar Bruise is dirty and unashamedly sloppy. And therein lies the brilliance of King Gizzard, psychedelic warts and all.
[Album Review] King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Get Ready To Bruise
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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard 12 Bar Bruise (Flightless/Fuse Records) Melbourne-based rocke...King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
12 Bar Bruise (Flightless/Fuse Records)
Melbourne-based rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have released a couple of stand-up EPs up to this point but are now ready to rock you with their first album proper, 12 Bar Bruise. This is a fuzz explosion of garage rock revival injected with a healthy dose of surf and psychedelia. If you're not ready for it you might find a buzz ringing in tune from your own head.
Humour is abounding with tracks like Uh Oh, I Called Mum and Footy Footy, with lines lamenting the decline of meat pies and full strength beer at football grounds. One the most interesting tracks is its lead, not so much as its sound (like Thee Oh Sees versus the Cramps), but the fact that it's recorded live using four iPhones.
The high-strung tone blasts out right from the first track, Elbow and reinjected again in Muckracker and Nein. With grooves trapped in an echo box striking out like a viper, with high energy and speed, KG&TLW attack with little mercy. What you get is 35 great minutes of mind-blowing rock'n'roll.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/12-bar-bruise-20121003-26zl0.html#ixzz2BPtDpyTs
[Interview] Triple J Morning's with Zan Rowe
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This Friday, Melbourne band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard release their debut album. The seven ...This Friday, Melbourne band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard release their debut album. The seven piece, originally from coastal Victoria, make fun, psych-surf rock and over the past year or so we've heard great songs like Bloody Ripper, Dead-Beat and Black Tooth.
This morning, we met two members of the band - Eric and Stu - who dropped into triple j to have a chat about their record 12 Bar Bruise. They're a band known for their raucous live shows but on record it never gets crowded, even with seven people playing.
When Eric and Stu came in I asked them how they knew when and where to hold back when they got into the studio. What I got was tales of footy theme songs and hectic Golden Plains festivals. It was a fun chat. You can stream it in full, below!
[Album Review] King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizzard – 12 Bar Bruise
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Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is a garage rock group with both...Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is a garage rock group with both noisy elements and pop sensibilities. The band just released 12 Bar Blues, a twelve-track release which you can stream above via their Bandcamp.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s combination of stripped down and distorted instrumentation, psyched-out vocals, poppy melodies, and blood-pumping tempos isn’t exactly uncharted territory (think Thee Oh Sees), but that’s not to say they don’t execute it impressively. In addition to achieving this sound with precise accuracy, largely thanks to their rough-around-the-edges production, the band uses appropriately catchy vocal hooks that make many of these songs spirited earworms. For anyone in the mood for visceral yet accessible garage rock, this should do the trick.
[Album Review] King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - 12 Bar Bruise
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For the last week, the only album that has seen as much action on my stereo as the debut by Victoria...For the last week, the only album that has seen as much action on my stereo as the debut by Victoria seven-piece King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is the new Warner compilation Boogie! Australian Blues, R&B and Heavy Rock From the ’70s. Both records have elements in common, like Broderick Smith of ’70s rockers The Dingoes, who is the father of King Gizzard’s harmonica player, Ambrose Kenny-Smith. Smith is the owner of the grizzled voice on 12 Bar Bruise’s spoken-word piece, ‘Sam Cherry’s Last Shot’, an atmospheric amalgam of Calexico, William S Burroughs and the 1883 novel Among Our Wild Indians. Another point of comparison is Gizzard’s ‘Cut Throat Boogie’, an off-kilter thumper inspired by a jam on Carson’s 1972 perennial ‘Boogie’ – a standout track on the Warner anthology that took its name.
Both albums also share a celebratory but skewed take on the classic Australian rock sound. It’s rock, sure, but there are some more exotic, potentially intoxicating, ingredients in this potent boogie stew. The results are distinctly local but glimmer with a transfigured view of the everyday. Time feels elastic: the sounds are layered and sometimes mysterious, rewarding repeated listening even for songs that are little more than repetitious riffs with a dose of pop smarts. 12 Bar Bruise psychedelicises suburban Australian coming-of-age experiences – with songs about everyday topics like AFL, surfing, love bites and having to call your parents when you accidentally overdo it at the Meredith Music Festival – all mixed up with silly puns, ockerisms, schoolyard shouts and sports team chants, then run through a glam sensibility and a lysergically-inclined effects board and mixing desk.
Recorded in two locations – Great Ocean Road destination Anglesea (home for some of the band) and a Fairfield warehouse, with Paul Maybury of Rocket Science producing – the first thing that grabs you about 12 Bar Bruise is the outrageous cover art by Jason Gale, a perfect distillation of the record’s outré humour that will look pretty damn fine as a 12”. The first 10 seconds of opener ‘Elbow’ mark out the sonic space the band are about to play in: an echoing burble of hiss and rattle; a single guitar chord that hangs rippling in the air; then a drumroll that kicks down the door and roughly drags the hummable melody across the room by the collar. Velvets-esque organ features prominently, a scything guitar cuts the song in half and then a short burst of fuzzed-up soloing with bucket loads of flange brings it home.
‘Muckraker’ and ‘Nein’ follow, both catchy as hell yet unafraid of twisting in unexpected directions, changing tempo and distorting. Still they reel the listener in with tuneful Casio keyboard riffs and nonsense singalongs led by vocalist Stu Mackenzie that could have been lifted from an Archies or Banana Splits record. The title track has a different sound – thin yet cavernous – that’s apparently the result of being home-recorded on five iPhones. It saunters and sashays like a teen vamp in a miniskirt and would be well at home on a Tarantino soundtrack. ‘Garage Liddiard’ is another standout, with Kenny-Smith’s blues harp wailing invoking the ghost of Keith Relf while the band stomps with gusto.
‘Bloody Ripper’ is initially unassuming, but after a couple of listens its chorus of “All I want to do is sink my teeth into you” earworms its way right into your cerebellum. No wonder it was chosen as a single. ‘Uh Oh, I Called Mum’ is a scuzzy rush of self-deprecating silliness, thumping its merry way through a hail of feedback. ‘Footy Footy’ is dumber still yet just as likable, a roll call of much-loved AFL players with a simple chanted chorus. The last line shows there’s something at stake, though: “I hate what this game has become.”
The audio elements that make 12 Bar Bruise such an adventurous and entertaining listen are familiar garage/psych tropes, but it’s admirable how the band and Maybury keep such a tight rein on them. We can leave adjectives like “unhinged” and “deranged” back in the thesaurus, because the album never loses its shit completely – all elements are contained and focused, never outstaying their welcome.
Yet 12 Bar Bruise still makes you feel dizzy with the joy of uncertainty, drunk on the possibility that the next 10 seconds will throw such unfettered pop messiness at your brain that you'll be utterly incapable of resisting its charms. Though the LP is just a smidge over 34 minutes long, most of these 2058 seconds are as giddily satisfying as soaring over the pack to take a chest mark while peaking on purple ohms. A cracking debut – more please
[Feature Interview] King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
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The two young blokes sitting across from me by the fireplace at The Tote are as unassuming as th...
The two young blokes sitting across from me by the fireplace at The Tote are as unassuming as they get. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard vocalist Stu Mackenzie and thereminist Eric Moore are enjoying a quiet pot or two on a lowly Wednesday arvo, a delightful contrast to when they will no doubt be annihilating the bandroom in around a month’s time. Contrast is what the seven-strong collective does well, they exude a slacker mentality yet are relentless with recording and touring, and delve into the depths of ockerism while professing brazen wit. All this is encapsulated within 12 Bar Bruise, a full-length debut that follows on from their EP of late last year, Willoughby’s Beach. On the eve of the LP’s release, Stu and Eric run us through the eventful journey between records.
“I suppose the majority of songs are new, as in written in the month or so before recording. But a few had sprung up in between. It’s definitely different to Willoughby’s,” Stu states. “Willoughby’s was just us going into the studio and smashing it all out as quickly as possible. Which was perfect. But this was a bit more of us going into the studio for a little bit, then doing mostly heaps of stuff at home.”
“The way we recorded and approached it was a lot different. Willoughby’s was a lot less thought out,” Eric adds.
It wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to label the EP an LP, with it feeling meaty enough to bear the status of longplayer. “I think we were a bit more hesitant [with the EP]. There were nine songs and we were really happy with how it turned out, we didn’t think it could be any better or the songs could be any better. But I guess we didn’t want to call it our first album. The songs were so short that it felt like an EP, even though there were nine tracks. If you called it an album on a ten-inch with nine songs lasting 20 minutes, you’d kind of feel like you’d been cut a bit fuckin’ short,” Eric laughs.
With a fairly rapid turnaround between the EP and LP, plus a follow-up EP nearly completed, it’s safe to say Gizzard are a prolific bunch. “There have been times where we haven’t really done stuff for a while, but lately we’ve been doing heaps of stuff,” Stu reveals.
“We want it to be our number one focus. Everyone obviously still works and that sort of thing. Stu lives in Angelsea and comes to Melbourne when he needs to, so he’s able to do a fair bit of writing at home which is good,” Eric adds.
There’s a palpable movement happening around the Geelong region, with plenty of shit-hot garage outfits germinating from the area – many of which share members with King Gizzard. “It might have to do with being a little bit away from the city, and not having much to do breeds that need to play music. There’s not a lot of places outside of Geelong for a band like us to play music.” Stu ponders.
“Geelong always works as a hub for all those little towns, like Torquay. Obviously we’re all really good mates with Frase,” Eric says referring to rising singer-songwriter Fraser A Gorman. “He played a few gigs with Gizzard real early on, Stu drums with him. There are a heap of others, Ambrose plays with The Murlocs, then there’s also Frowning Clouds and The Living Eyes on a similar vibe from the same area.”
With a body of work containing track titles such as Dustbin Fletcher, Garage LIddiard and Footy Footy, there’s a discernable affection for wordplay and Australiana present in the Gizzard canon. “It’s definitely not super thought out. It is what it is,” Stu states frankly.
“I think with Garage Liddiard we just needed a title and Joe was saying all this funny stuff then came up with that. It’s a garage-y song and we all love The Drones. But at the same time, it’s kind of what Gizzard is – that simple, Aussie fun,” Eric raises. “The players Joe was naming [on Footy Footy] are from our era when we all grew up – ’96, ’97. It’s when we were like ten and loving footy. It’s probably an album that will polarise people. So many people will be like ‘this is dumb, what is this shit’. Then there will be people that will get it straight away and it’ll just click with them. I guess we’ll see how it goes.”
12 Bar Bruise is released through Flightless Records, the band’s own imprint. Releasing in such a manner obviously means a lot more work is involved, but the band can see it paying off in the long run. “I guess that’s my thing in a way. It was always a goal of the band to be independent and release our own stuff. I’ve always wanted to be involved in working with labels,” Eric states. “So it made sense to do it ourselves. I think we’re gonna do stuff by lots of friends’ bands, like that coastal scene with a lot of mates’ bands. Just keeping it under the one roof is nice. I feel like we’re the younger kids playing music around town and hopefully by the time we’re a bit older it will be in a similar vein to like a Chapter or one of those local labels that are highly revered and well-respected. I guess you have to start from somewhere.”
For a band that has only just released their debut album, King Gizzard have been kicking more than a few goals in the past year. “It just goes in levels. You’re like, ‘Oh my god, playing The Tote would be unbelievable.’ Then you play it, then you aim for [Northcote] Social Club, then it’s The Corner, and it just keeps going up. Then it gets to a point where you’ve played most of the venues around town,” Eric states.
“I still get excited to play The Tote,” Stu adds. “Meredith is still the highlight.”
“We’ll probably just keep saying it, Meredith was just the best thing we’ve done,” Eric beams. The Meredith stint was a corker, and it also paid off in other ways, with an incident of overindulgence resulting in events which inspired the track Uh Oh, I Called Mum.
With a relatively populace lineup and a decentralised base, you would think the logistics of organising rehearsals and touring would be a bit of a nightmare. But the lads have got their shit together. “We’ve worked out a way where it’s not very hard, but it’s taken us a long time to get to that point,” Eric explains.
“It’s not very hard at all,” Stu continues. “We make it as easy as possible, basically. We always get questions like that, ‘Oh it must be so hard to have seven people in the band,’ but it’s not at all. We all hang out every day anyway, pretty much.”
“But as far as the songwriting process, Stu will come up with the idea and jam it as a three-piece and then we’ll build upon those parts. In the past, it’s been impossible to rehearse with all seven of us. It’s been frustrating, but we’ve just had to work it out over the years. It’s developed into what it is – and it’s working, which is good. There have been times at Bakehouse [Studios] and there’s seven of us there trying to write a song and it’s just the worst thing,” Eric laughs.
Even on the week of their album’s release, King Gizzard are busy plugging away at recording a follow-up. “We’ve been recording all week. We’ve pretty much done our next record,” Stu reveals. “We’re three-quarters finished a spaghetti-western-themed record, a lot like Sam Cherry’s Last Shot. A big kind of version of that. We’re doing that completely at home, we’ve worked out a good setup with our shitty home equipment.”
“The idea was this sort of six-track EP of all instrumental but then we get Brod, Ambrose’s dad, to write this sort of short story,” Eric expands.
The sense of being part of a new generation of Australian garage rock rings true, with titans Eddy Current Suppression Ring currently in an indeterminable hiatus. “We all absolutely love Eddy Current and all those bands, and they’ve obviously inspired a lot of young bands that are coming up now. There are a lot of bands our age who were all friends with that are all putting out really great music,” Eric smiles.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
12 Bar Bruise is out now through Flightless. KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD perform at The Tote on Saturday October 6 and Sunday October 7.
[Album Review] King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizzard – 12 Bar Bruise
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KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZZARD 12 Bar Bruise Flightless The debut album from Melbourne ga...KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZZARD
12 Bar Bruise
The debut album from Melbourne garage-psych maniacs King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard sounds like a punk band hurtling through space. Their palette includes flangers, skittering spring reverb, delay pedals, screamed backing vocals and overheated mixing desks. It’s almost absurd how stunningly noisy this album is – getting into Raw Power territory – but it is faultlessly exciting and sounds like a band operating on all cylinders, including some they MacGyvered on their own.
Berserk feedback squeals dot all aural corners; guitar sounds that resemble interstellar ray guns crop up at the starts and ends of songs. For reference points I might go to The Reatards or The Ramones, with delay pedals fuzzed-out and distorting all over the shop, but the seamless integration of pop hooks, toy keyboards and relentless garage rock recalls elements of Iggy Pop’s Arista albums, albeit with some parts played by a groovy alien stuck in an echo box. Mental.
If I’m dwelling on the general sound too much it’s because the lyrics are frequently indecipherable. This isn’t really a bad thing, but it is occasionally difficult to keep things dynamic when it’s all overloaded microphones without many clear vocal propositions. They throw in dialogue from antiquated US Army reports, slow and insane surf blueses, cruisy bubblegum (a la the excellent title track) and harmonica jams that liken them to an unhinged, incoherent Yardbirds. With some great ‘50s backing vocal parodies on ‘Uh Oh, I Called Mum’ (“mumumumumumum”), an ocker pastiche (‘Footy Footy’) and a near-fatal tavern brawl (‘Cut Throat Boogie’), this is the sort of crazed suburban space-punk that we never knew existed but now desperately need.
This will kill any listener with a migraine, but in all other scenarios you will be jumping around and destroying things.