King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Nonagon Infinity Colored Vinyl LP
Each of the nine, complex, blistering tracks on 2016's Nonagon Infinity seamlessly flows into the next, with the final song linking straight back into the top of the opener like a sonic mobius strip. It's exactly the kind of ambitious vision that prompted Rolling Stone to dub the Australian septet "one of the most compelling collectives of art-rock experimentalists in recent years."
But far from a simple conceptual experiment, the album is both an exhilarating shot of adrenaline and a remarkable feat of craftsmanship, the result of painstaking planning and an eye for detail years in the making.
The roots of Nonagon Infinity stretch back to 2014, when King Gizzard recorded their critically acclaimed album I'm In Your Mind Fuzz.
"We actually wanted to do this with ‘Mind Fuzz,' but it just didn't work," explains Stu Mackenzie. "We ended up writing songs that needed to be on that record but didn't connect to the others, so we had to abandon the idea, but the seeds were sown." To an outsider, it may have seemed like the band had completely given up on the concept, as the ever-prolific group quickly followed Mind Fuzz with two more records in 2015, Quarters and the stripped-down Paper Mache Dream Balloon.
The truth, though, was that King Gizzard was honing in on the Nonagon Infinity material the whole time, test-driving various tracks in their explosive live shows to prep for the monumental task of stitching them all together into one searing, multi-movement epic.
Recorded at Daptone Studios in Brooklyn, the final result is an intricate and immersive listening experience. Lyrical refrains and musical motifs establish themselves and then submerge beneath the chaos, only to resurface unexpectedly later like familiar companions on a labyrinthine journey.
Motorhead-grade riffs give way to King Crimson and Yes-levels of prog complexity, as songs churn through unusual time signatures and shifting rhythms with blunt force, laying waste to everything in their path. "Big Fig Wasp" references a particularly macabre insect that must kill itself in order to perpetuate the species, while "Gamma Knife," with its 11/8-time drum solo, is named for a surgical tool that burns cuts into the skin, and "People-Vultures" plays like a sinister film soundtrack. Album opener "Robot Stop" pulls more directly from the band's recent experiences, inspired in part by their relentless work ethic and tour schedule.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Nonagon Infinity Track Listing:
1. Robot Stop
2. Big Fig Wasp
3. Gamma Knife
5. Mr. Beat
6. Evil Death Roll
7. Invisible Face
8. Wah Wah
9. Road Train
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