King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Nonagon Infinity Album Review

The hyperactive Geelong septet’s fourth LP in 18 months.

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard Nonagon Infinity album artwork

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The prolific Australians’ latest starts with Robot Stop, and on first listen it seemed to be going on for an unusually long time, but the CD was already on track three.

This was no lapse of concentration – rather it’s the whole point of the album. The material is rearranged and reconfigured so it is, in guitarist and vocalist Stu Mackenzie’s words, like an ever-looping “sonic Möbius strip”.

One of those unifying factors is Mackenzie’s vocal melodies, which on all the songs here, track his staccato guitar lines note for note. This gives structures of prog complexity, especially on Invisible Face. All this takes place at relentless high speed, punctuated by regular howls, with the two drummers sitting tight on the beat and exploding into lavish tom-tom rolls.

It’s a consistently exciting, adrenalised set with the only interludes a brisk, medium pace Mr Beat, with bluesy organ, and the 54 Wah Wah. Evil Death Roll cops the riff from Hawkwind’s Master Of The Universe and also reminds of Golden Earring’s road song Radar Love with afterburners, or Neu!, all at warp speed, Anyone timorously requesting more light and shade will simply be flattened. Just strap in and hang on for the whole trip.

Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes is the author of Captain Beefheart - The Biography (Omnibus Press, 2011) and A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & the 1970s (2020). He was a regular contributor to Select magazine and his work regularly appears in Prog, Mojo and Wire. He also plays the drums.