Steamrolling down a highway torched by a beam of a sun not unto heaven nor hell, but the place in-between, it seems the apocalypse always impends in the minds of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The Melbourne seven piece blesses the pagan world with their cumulative and most buttoned up work to date, their logical and sparkling ultraviolet LP, I’m in Your Mind Fuzz; a fuzzy thing itself that crinkles riff upon riff through the wiring of an incandescent light bulb that never goes out. Where their last full length Oddments combined a hodgepodge of ‘60s surf and r&b and just about everything in-between, Mind Fuzz sits at the psychedelic midsection between the Summer of Love and the Third Great Awakening of the ‘70s, taking a handful from the culture bucket–prog driven basslines, Hawaii 5-0 drum fills, Jethro Tull inspired pan flutes all included–and assembles a psych rock record for the comparably faster age of the Internet.
Stack all the Eastern-spiced freakouts and neon-glowing guitars next to any psych rock–past or present–and King Gizzard outweighs them all in tenacity, a sheer force of will, ready to take on the dick of the devil, calling John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees out in a free styling dual of their axes, and consequently daunting any high school fender strat player the task of the tabbing out the damn thing. (Interestingly enough, Dwyer’s Castleface imprint is releasing the record.) The opening four-song suite clocks in at over 12 minutes, essentially compiling the best jams these dudes have laid to tape.
Their wizardry extends past the point of reptilia, appearing present in the studio as well. Plenty of albums have adopted George Martin’s sense of experimentation, though I’m in Your Mind Fuzz wears its studio wizard hat with a demented smile as it strolls through the hazy swamps of a land traversed by voodoo shamans Avey Tare and Kevin Parker. Throughout the record, every texture and seemingly every instrument is welcome: the final song tries on different shades of reverb throughout its eight minute duration, never quite settling on a particular one, look to the left side of the stereo to find an Egyptian pyramid in the shape of a song that sounds all too familiar on the instrumental “I’m Not in Your Mind” and to the right for the thumping and mythical “Empty”, a honky tonking harmonica playing a six string (or maybe it is a guitar playing the harmonica?) in full effect along side the lost pan flute of Ian Anderson.
Thankfully, there are necessary moments of rest, like the jazzy “Hot Water” and the aptly titled “Slow Jam 1”, where King Gizzard sounds like a stoned incarnation of Woods, and on “Satan Speeds Up”, a moment of melodrama dropped from an open field full of sunflowers. Five albums into their career, King Gizzard are finally everything their sound promises: bold, brash, and wild.