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Albums Of The Week: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard | Butterfly 3000

The unpredictable Australians trade psychedelic guitar rock for pulsing synth-prog.

WHO ARE THEY? The boundlessly creative, staggeringly prolific and marvellously unpredictable psychedelic-rock sextet from Melbourne.

WHAT IS THIS? Their 18th album in just nine years — and that doesn’t count the slew of live albums and EPs they’ve also issued (did I mention they were staggeringly prolific?).

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? In typical fashion, almost nothing like their other albums. In contrast to the intricately angular, guitar-driven psyche-rock that generally dominates their sound (when they aren’t detouring into metal, jazz, boogie-rock or some other diversion), this 10-track album offers a sweet, synth-based suite of hypnotically circular prog and dream-pop songs. Laced with falsetto vocals and frequent exclamations of “Whooo!”, these upbeat tracks join together into a 43-minute ode to joy, love and happiness — though their surreal, dark lyrics someteimes paint a contrasting, slightly more disturbing picture.

WHAT ARE THE MOST REVEALING LYRICS? “It’s coming up Beach Boys / It’s gonna be a lot of fun / The water’s getting deeper / It’s gonna drown everyone.”

WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While floating in a sensory deprivation tank on mood-elevating drugs.

WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Electronic, eccentric, positive, pulsing, transcendent, transfixing, layered, relaxing, uplifting, buoyant.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The propulsive and punchy opener Yours, the vaguely Asian, slightly sinister funk of Catching Smoke, the syncopated Black Hot Soup.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? “King Who and the What Now?”

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? If you’re anything like me, about 3,000 times.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A COLOUR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? The brightest shade of canary yellow you can find.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? They already give away tons of music for free; the least you could do is shell out for this one.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Butterfly 3000 might be their most fearless leap into the unknown yet; a suite of 10 songs that all began life as arpeggiated loops composed on modular synthesizers, before being fashioned into addictive, optimistic and utterly seductive dream-pop by the six-piece.

The album sounds simultaneously like nothing they’ve ever done before, and thoroughly, unmistakably Gizz, down to its climactic neon psych-a-tronic flourish. This is undoubtedly the most accessible and jubilant album of their career.” Says bassist Lucas Harwood: “We are all so pumped to release this, and of course for y’all to hear it. I think it’ll be a divisive record among fans — but healthy debate is a good thing. For me, it really feels like a distilling of all of our various influences and musical personalities — reaching for places we haven’t reached for before and having confidence in sparsity — every part is considered, important and confident. I think we’re throwing away our youthful tropes of adding layers and layers of sound. That’s fun and will always hold a place within Gizzard, but this record is different. It’s probably the most positive Gizzard record too — almost completely in major keys! It feels good to release something so uplifting in such a gloomy, pessimistic global landscape at the moment.”