Release Date: 24 February
Label: Flightless / ATO
Awash with frantic psychedelia, Flying Microtonal Banana coils around various strands of rock and psychedelia, drawing them together to form an intoxicating blend. Maximalist, unpredictable and slightly delirious at times, Melbourne seven-piece King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard master controlled chaos, directing a medley of exotic instruments with assurance and diversity.
Brushed with lo-fi production, the album delves into a variety of cultures, experimenting with Australian and Eastern influences while riddled with echoes of the western world. Occasionally breaking away from their busy aestheticism, tracks are exposed and reduced to a bare and eerie guitar riff. This is not the only haunting element, with the lyrical content toying with the ideas of environmental turmoil and disruption, and the tone never quite wavering from that of uncertainty.
“Anoxia” and “Flying Microtonal Banana” are home to shrill backing vocals, piercing through the bleak, condemning guitar lines which parade through the tracks. The lazy drones of the lead vocals and harmonies certainly contribute to the unsettling nature of “Anoxia”, although in parts the distinct, plucked notes from the sitar make the piece seem instead delicate and enticing. Tribal drumming, repetitive keys, hazy synths and writhing guitar riffs frequent the album and work to their best in “Melting”, lending a hand to build a darkly inviting and textured record.
Swept to a finish, with sounds of the wind coaxing the self-titled last track to a halt, the album concludes with a hypnotic, elegant feel. Flying Microtonal Banana supplies its listeners with a jungle of rich and indulgent experimentation. Discordant yet incredibly melodic, it achieves this largely with innovation, coolness and composure.
Words by Madeline Smith