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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Gila Monster Review

Through work rate and probability alone, the chances of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard making a perfect album are higher than most. Not because they are fashioning new ground (although they are), but because of the quantity of releases. How the band has managed to draw this line between incredibly well-worked as well as interesting, confident albums and the sheer quality throughout so many is one of life’s great mysteries. Gila Monster, the single from their upcoming PetroDragonic Apocalypse album, brings in the usually forgotten “Lizard Wizard”. For the sake of brevity and conversational flow, the entire name of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is usually discarded, as has the entire album title of their June slated release, the first of a presumed sixty this year. 

Should this be the standard they set not just for PetroDragonic Apocalypse but the future, then listeners are in safe hands. Streamlined metal and heavy rock tones are taken up. Modern metal is given a breath of fresh air and becomes an incredible, intense experience. More important than anything though, King Gizzard blurs their style with a more-than-accommodating subgenre for summoning some demonic lizard. King Gizzard are clearly on the warpath once more, cutting down every sub-genre of rock they can before eventually combusting and turning their attention to the shoegaze scene as a way of cooling down. Until this fake and never-to-happen transition, the pleasure found in the positive flows, the constant interjection of “Gilla, Gilla,” which sounds closer to screams than anything, are more than enough to cater to newcomers and fans alike. 

This is what Jethro Tull was wanting on their rightly panned RökFlöte or whatever. Remove the flute, power through with conviction as King Gizzard does, and half the battle is won. Intensity, strained cries and growls as they detail the monsters of non-existent proportions. Gila Monster makes the world which it finds itself projecting a demanding and interesting one. Paint a picture as King Gizzard do and the industrial portions pair well with the interjections of a scaly beast. Venomous lizards predominantly found in Mexico clearly leave an impression on King Gizzard, but their love of reptiles has charted them to higher ground before. Gila Master steps things up a notch.  

Prolific in all the right ways and showcasing another strong take on a genre they have flirted with before, King Gizzard presents Gila Monster as a wizened blur of metalcore essentials. Not just through instrumentals and heavy, thrashing guitar work but from their focus and imagery. Monsters, ghouls and shady, hooded figures conjuring potions deep in the heart of horrors. Whooping and wailing like James Smith from Yard Act, Gila Monster perfectly cements an interesting new take on dated and lacking bands of the time who still feel their imagery is better than all. Take one look at the cover, at the video, or anything visual associated with this latest track, and its intensity and interest comes clear. King Gizzard strike through with a new take on an old genre, one of the few bands out there pumping new life into long-abandoned genres Jethro Tull and Metallica still fumble around in. 

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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