Over the last ten years of the digital age of music there has been a growing underbelly of artists and bands leaning towards a rougher, less polished and more lo-fi sound. Here in Ireland we’ve seen plenty of great lo-fi releases from Cruising, September Girls and most recently Girl Band to name a few. Australian seven-piece King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard are very much so a part of this indie (in the true sense of the word) response to vacuous, bland, background music.
Where KGLW’s back catalogue showcases a psychedelia driven garage-rock, their latest offering Paper Maché Dream Balloon is a much lighter, possibly more mature affair. The peaking guitar riffs are replaced here with gentle acoustic guitars, the screeching effect-laden vocals with sweet melodies. That’s not to say KGLW have lost their edge though. In its thirty-four minutes, Paper Maché Dream Balloon veers in musical direction more times then you would expect possible.
Opening track ‘Sense’, with its loose feel and clarinet sections could sit at home in a small, hazy lounge bar somewhere in New York, whereas follow on track Bone is an upbeat, dream-pop classic. ‘The Bitter Boogie’ crawls along with a southern blues drawl made up of harmonica solos, a loose shuffle and some steel guitar and just to keep things weird, ‘Trapdoor’ brings the band’s usual off-kilter, medieval, psychedelic, frantic flute-playing pop.
For a band that has only been in existence for five years, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have released seven albums and a swathe of EPs and with each one of those releases you get the feeling that this music isn’t being made with anyone but the band in mind. It may not be to everyone’s taste but Paper Maché Dream Balloon is an uncompromising piece of work from a band not concerned with following trends or popular styles. More power to them, I say.