King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a modern psychedelic and garage rock outfit hailing from Melbourne, Australia. This is the first of a reported five albums the band is set to release in 2017, and they’ve been holding true to their promise to date. Flying Microtonal Banana was released February 24th, and they recently announced the completion of the upcoming full length project. King Gizzard have always found a way to maintain a balance between remaining prolific and keeping the high quality of their records. The band has come out with eleven albums since 2013, and all have received critical acclaim for their own reasons.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard records generally follow some sort of theme or concept, and Flying Microtonal Banana is no exception. As stated in the title of the album, the band is attempting to experiment with microtonal tuning, a concept that takes them away from standard intervals between notes. That description may make this LP sound very technical and challenging, but it’s actually quite the opposite. King Gizzard have approached the project in a way that keeps the musical experience in the foreground while simultaneously keeping the concept alive. The opening track and lead single “Rattlesnake” makes it seem like the hard-hitting garage sound from Nonagon Infinity is continuing here, with a muted guitar riff and uptight, almost claustrophobic tone throughout the song. The mood quickly changes with the track “Melting,” though, which brings back hints of their psychedelic sounds, but incorporates melodic keyboards and a fantastic bass line that helps keep the song together. For me “Melting,” “Sleep Drifter” and “Doom City” are highlights on Flying Microtonal Banana, but there’s not really a track here that lets down the listener of a King Gizzard album.

This album is definitely another highlight among the myriad of fantastic records from the Aussie garage and psychedelic rock group. Mackenzie and company have come through with another unique, conceptual album that captivates, is sonically pleasing, and incorporates a fresh idea. The band continues to drive its music forward, as I can confidently predict they will do with the other four albums they release this year. Flying Microtonal Banana is just another solid set of tracks that paint a picture and evoke a specific emotional pattern. I hope the band continues to bring something new to the table every time they come out with new music, because that could lead to an extremely bright 2017.

9/10