Written by Dustin Sclafani
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard release their record, L.W., today, February 25, 2021, as the third chapter in their albums driving into the microtonal music world. Like Flying Microtonal Bananas, released in 2017, and K.G. released in 2020, L.W. explores the musical concept of microtones, and the music geek in me is super stoked.
“What is this microtonal music you speak of?” asks the average music listener. Well, I am glad you asked. You see it is the use of microtones/intervals smaller than a semitone. Have I lost you? You see in typical Western tuning, we rely on 12 equal tunes per octave. Still, lost? Think of the basic scale a, b, c, d, e, f, g, with half steps, i.e.: sharps and flats between the tunes. But, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are exploring the sound in between those standard Western intervals.
Now that we have gotten the technical stuff aside let’s talk honestly about the album. From the start of the record, you completely understand that it is a follow-up to their 2020 release K.G. The moment “If Not Now, Then When” kicks off, we are treated to the resolution of the final track from K.G., “The Hungry Wolf of Fate.” So I honestly suggest listening to the two records back to back, so you can truly absorb the continued thought process.
But this review is about L.W. I swear. From the chaos of the beginning track there becomes a true poignant singular focus and we know K.G. is finished and L.W. has begun. The microtonal theme leads the listener down a path similar to what some may believe to be more of a Middle Eastern or Southeast Asian feel.
“Supreme Ascendancy” opens up by almost setting the scene of a Japanese tea ceremony before two Samurai engage in battle. It’s followed by the track, “Static Electricity,” which feels more like a collaboration between George Harrison and Kula Shaker.
Closing out their 17thfull album with a reinterpretation of their new de facto theme song, “K.G.L.W.,” King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have managed to stay true to their prolific selves, as it is a completely reimagined version of the same song they used to kick off 2020’s K.G. It’s a beautiful way to show us that after we go through something, we can appreciate how much it changes us. So go grab this record and its sibling K.G. and enjoy the journey; it’s one definitely worth taking. The album is available on all DSP’s and Bandcamp.
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