KING GIZZARD

Published on May 28th, 2022

KGATLW by Jason Galea

While many of us were perfecting our sourdough and coping on a spectrum between “comfortably numb” and “plotting against the neighbors,” King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard were at work — on multiple albums’ worth of new material, as it turned out. 2020 birthed K.G.” 2021 gave us both “L.W.” and “Butterfly 3000.” And now we have “Omnium Gatherum, the first King Gizzard album recorded wholly in person since the pre-Covid 2019 pair of “Fishing for Fishies” and “Infest the Rats’ Nest.”

If you know these prodigious Australian psych-heads, you know that along with their marathon live shows and offbeat album titles, they thrive on proximity as they occupy almost every rock genre imaginable. The pandemic-era records are no exceptions, from their microtonal expressions and synthesizer arpeggios to their longform hybrid krautrock/garage rock jams — new additions to a fuzzed-out, buzzed-out catalog that always leaves the listener wondering where the next record might go.

But, forced out of their natural element by Covid, band members recorded parts alone at home and assembled everything online, as was la voie du jour in the halcyon days of lockdown. “Omnium Gatherum,” begun in June of 2021, found them able to convene for the first time in 1 1/2 years at their new studio, Gizz HQ, outside Melbourne. (The city went back into lockdown soon after.)

Bandmates have said they were giddy with the musical rush created by their physical reunion. “Omnium Gatherum,” Latin for “a collection of miscellaneous people or things,” crackles with the energy of all that deferred in-person brainstorming and pent-up collaboration, finally unleashed. The album is a liberating callback that reaffirms who the band are and how they do what they do.

For good measure KGLW have also dropped the following this year: “Made In Timeland,” a two-track, 30-minute studio album originally conceived as festival intermission music; a remix album, “Butterfly 3001”; and a live album, “Live in Brisbane ’21.” Lest you think they’re slacking.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard play 7pm Saturday June 18 at Space Park Miami. kinggizzardandthelizardwizard.com ~ Tim Moffatt

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