King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Infest The Rats Nest

8/10

Favorite Track: "Mars for the Rich" Least Favorite Track: "Organ Farmer"


Change has become a defining part of the identity of Australian rock band, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The seven piece has changed their style, their attitude, and essentially their genre on almost every new project they’ve released and their new one, Infest The Rats’ Nest, is no exception. On Gizzard’s fifteenth studio album (and second this year) they engage in a full on embrace of thrash metal. The raspy vocals, roaring guitar solos, double based pedals, and overdrive is all here, it certainly isn’t a half-baked take on this sound. As someone who generally doesn’t get much out of Stu Mackenzie’s high falsetto, I was more than happy to see him exchanging his yelps for badass roars on this new project. The front man delivers on all fronts in terms of effective thrash metal esc vocals.This album is on another level conceptually compared to almost anything I have heard this year. The A-side of this record sticks pretty close to an environmentalist/sci-fi crossover. It divulges into topics like discussing what would would happen if we as humans environmentally drained this planet and were forced to move to another one. The A-side also discusses what planet we would go to and what kinds of people would even be allowed to go (it’s not everyone). The B-side takes a more plot oriented approach to the same type of ideas. According to Stu Mackenzie; “The B-side tells the story of a group of rebels who are forced to leave Planet Earth and try to settle on Venus”. The way that Gizzard soundtracks this plot in the second half seems pretty accurate. The eighth note hi-hat grooves on badass songs like “Perihelion” do a great job at exemplifying the anxiousness and urgency of this group of rebels. This new King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard album sees its grooviest moments in the first half, while its most narratively engaging come in the second. When this album isn’t hitting impressively hard or working it’s genuine thrash metal inspiration, it's aweing you with just how deeply conceptually, conscious, and thoughtful it truly is. It ticks off all the boxes. There is more than one way to enjoy this project and that's part of the reason it’s so great.

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