Australian band King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard  made 2017 their year. The band put out five records throughout the year,  with only a couple months in between each: Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder of the Universe, Sketches of Brunswick East, Polygondwanaland and Gumboot Soup.  The five records added up to a total of 13 albums in their entire  discography since 2012, making for an incredible work ethic. In 2018,  however, the band took a much-needed break, letting the five records  sink in with the fans to decipher where they fit in the “Gizzverse”.

Gizzard returned with “Cyboogie” in January of 2019, surprising fans  with its electronic influence and sound. Later, the band announced Fishies, a nine-track record with a heavy blues sound. Fishies  finds Gizzard at their most accessible and most different. Once again,  the band has made an original album with a sound they haven’t touched  upon too much.

A fun boogie-oogying sound

As a songwriter, frontman Stu Mackenzie has always written  differently for each album. One may be a huge, dirty garage rock  thriller; while another may be a psychedelic microtonal trip. On Fishies,  Mackenzie and the band have delivered a blues rock sound with their own  unique twist to it. “Boogieman Sam,” part one of the boogie trilogy,  has “road trip” written all over it. Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s harmonica  blares (which is found all over the record and in Gizzard’s discography)  has a Led Zeppelin-esque riff that gives the track some groove.  “Plastic Boogie,” part two of the boogie trilogy, starts off with a  mathy blues riff, leading to a fun, stomping beat that truly defines  “boogie.” This new style for Gizzard gives the album plenty of  personality and truly stands out amongst their 13 other albums.

However, other sounds can be found on Fishies too. The title  track offers a calm, folky experience while the final track and part  three of the boogie trilogy, “Cyboogie,” is a completely electronic take  on the blues. This mix of sounds is justified by the flow of the album,  starting off in folk blues and slowly transitioning into electronic  blues that make for excellent changes in the pacing of the record. On Fishies, Gizzard took an overused style, the blues, and added their own personality to it, making it refreshing to listen to.

Conscious lyrics and stellar performances

Gizzard has made a clear message with Fishies; don’t destroy  Mother Earth. Mackenzie’s lyrics never really had an in-your-face  approach until now. “Plastic Boogie” discusses the dangers of our  reliance on plastic and the inevitable death that comes from plastic  being dumped in the ocean. “The Cruel Millennial” is a tongue-in-cheek  comment on modern day youth, and “The Bird Song” asks the important  questions: “To a bird what’s a plane?”. These lyrics are far from  generic and add a lot to the message of the record. The Gizzverse is  also present on this record with the great return of Han-Tyumi, the  character created in Murder of the Universe, giving plenty for fans to look into.

The performances on Fishies are tight and crisp. Mackenzie  and Kenny-Smith’s voices complement each other well while the drums  provide excellent beats to the inventive blues riffs. With this being a  blues record, the production should be centered around that style. Not  only did Gizzard deliver with their production, but they added their own  sound to the mix. Woodwinds flood the mix on “This Thing” and the title  track, making for great transitions. Not one instrument feels out of  place here.

Recommended if you like:

Thee Oh Sees


The Murlocs 

Best Tracks: 

Plastic Boogie

This Thing


Featured Image: YouTube

For more entertainment related content, visit us at Byte BSU!