King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard love a good shock. For the past 12 years the group have thrived on the unexpected, creating album after album of head-twisting obscurity, blurring every genre line possible with their signature brand of psychedelic oddness.
While it’s been one hell of a ride, the group’s genre-shock formula has left them at something of a dead end. They’ve covered it all. When there’s no new sounds left to tackle, what‘s the next move?
Omnium Gatherum attempts to tackle this question. The group’s first double album chucks everything at the canvas, resulting in their most disjointed effort to date. Opener ‘The Dripping Tap’ is brash and bold in all the wrong ways. We’re talking 18 long minutes of fretboard-fiddling that painfully melts away from joyous krautrock towards bleak metallic nothingness.
‘Magenta Mountain’ momentarily lifts us up off the floor by taking things down a notch. The track is a breezy trip down the river on a cosy summer’s day. Synths sparkle and gongs gently crash, reminding us that, when they put their mind to it, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard can be whatever they want to be.
Unsurprisngly, this respite doesn’t last for long. Before you know it we’re chucked back onto the darkness of the genre carousel. The grinding metal of ‘Gaia’ melds into the psych pop stylings of ‘The Garden Goblin’ which in turn scuttles right on through to the weirdo lounge of finale ‘The Funeral’. At one point in time these incessant changes would be thrilling, but 17 albums in, the group’s unpredictability feels a little bit too… predictable.
Ultimately, this becomes King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s undoing. Omnium Gatherum’s crumbles under its inability to surprise, leaving us with the sound of a band with nowhere left to go.
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