What makes an artist or band stand out? Is it a flashy name? Nontraditional and complex music styles? Or what about a narrative connecting all the pieces together in a multiverse theory?
The Australian rock band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard has it all. This band has shown no shortage of character and skill throughout 14 albums spanning their nine-year career. From albums commonly referred to as "post audio books" to a four-track album in which each song is 10 minutes and 10 seconds long King Gizzard has created a truly impressive backlog. Impressively they've built it all themselves. All their records are self-written, recorded, and released under their in-house record label, "Flightless Records."
These guys show no sign of stopping. In April of this year, they released Fishing For Fishies. This nine-track affair begins with the bouncy acoustic title track and finishes with "Cyboogie," a synth-rock dance tune that features cryptic messages from a robot known as Han-Tyumi, now famous for his appearances throughout their discography.
While Fishing For Fishies has been polarizing for fans, what's next is only more exciting. On April 8, the track "Planet B" was released on the band's YouTube channel. This track is thrash metal ear candy laced with a punching environmentalist message: "Open your eyes and see, There is no planet B." Now they have pushed out another track, "Self-Immolate," which is just as rambunctious as the first. Just this week, posters displaying the tracks album artwork have begun to appear in their home town Melbourne and even in various US cities. On June 20, the band announced their next album, Infest The Rats' Nest.
Why does this matter? Because this band shows that traditional rock and roll is not dead.
The debate of whether or not rock and roll is dead or not has gone on for years and will continue to for more. This has been seen lately through the debates of whether Greta Van Fleet is just a Led Zeppelin copycat. Even with personal opinions set aside, it's easy to see that Greta Van Fleet isn't exactly churning out anything new. Their most recent release, Anthem Of The Peaceful Army, was very harshly reviewed by many critics and fans in the rock industry and one common reasoning for this was the lack of innovation.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are always innovating and this is clearly seen this year. In one month, they released a blues-rock album that fans now frequently refer to as the harmonica album concluding with a synth disco track. This was followed up with their most aggressive and chaotic track to date. This band has laughed in the face of stagnation and continues to shock listeners with their ever-changing and ever-growing sound.
King Gizzard could be a poster child for the idea that rock and roll lives on. They record masterfully-written records, innovate constantly with new ideas for their music, and play some of the wildest shows that one can see today.