By Luis Castilla
Never one to leave anything unfinished, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have released “L.W.” as a follow-up to last year’s “K.G.”
“L.W.” is the third installment in King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s “Explorations Into Microtonal Tuning.”
The trilogy has seen the band modify their instruments to play music notes hidden between standard-tuned notes.
Like “K.G.,” ”L.W.”dissects the political and environmental issues the band’s native Australia, and the world for that matter, is facing.
Fans speculated the arrival of “L.W.” after the release of “K.G.,” noting that there was a sliver of yellow on the album cover’s right border.
The band denied its existence, until a tracklist and pre-order page was leaked, revealing that the cover of “L.W.” lines up perfectly with the cover of “K.G.” and subsequently, proving theorists correct.
Both covers were designed and sculpted by the band’s long-time artist and collaborator, Jason Galea.
Not only are the album covers meant to connect seamlessly, the closing track from “K.G,” “The Hungry Wolf of Fate,” flows right into the opening track of “L.W.”
This is not a new concept for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard as their 2016 album, “Nonagon Infinity” saw the band create a never-ending album where each song is connected and the last track sends listeners right back to the beginning for another go-around.
“If Not Now, Then When?” opens the album with an atmospheric instrumental reminiscent of something a band would play at a show before they actually start playing their setlist.
This transitions into groovy keyboards while singer Stu Mackenzie warns of the dangers of complacency toward environmental protection and governmental monitoring.
“O.N.E.” begins with a lullaby-like melody, perfectly in line with the song’s theme of having to wake up and live with the guilt that comes with the devastation of the planet at the hands of humans.
“Human race deserves its steaming fate on a plate. We did exploit the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the bugs in the ground and every creeping thing that creeps on Earth,” Mackenzie sings in the song’s verse.
“L.W.” has the same problem “K.G.” had, its songs are so similar, they melt into each other, making for a muddy, boring listen until something new breaks through the noise.
Half the tracklist is underwhelming. “Static Electricity,” “East West Link,” “Ataraxia” and “See Me” all feel like the same song with only slight dynamic shifts. Listeners may find themselves wondering when a song ever ended and a new one began.
There’s nothing remarkable until the closing track, “K.G.L.W.,” not to be confused with the opening track off “K.G.” of the same name.
Closing just as “K.G.” did, this is a slow-burning sludge-metal track that makes sure listeners leave “L.W.” with their faces thoroughly melted off.
For a band that gained notoriety for its originality and sonic exploration, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have fallen into a microtonal rabbit hole.