The seven piece entourage is made up of Stu Mackenzie as the front man and of course The King Gizzard, who also is one of three guitarists and the bands flute player. Cook Craig and Joey Walker follow his lead as the other two guitarists, Ambrose Kenny smith flicks the switches on the synthesizer, Lucas Skinner as the only bassist and two drummers Eric Moore and Michael Cavanagh. That is two drummers working in unison to perform. Not one working with a part-time back up. The result? A harmonious, sometime hard-hitting mix of sounds that are reminiscent of yesterday with a modern quirkiness. This is even more obvious in their film clips. A purposely distorted sound to give it that nostalgic feeling. With seven members in the band, you would be excused for thinking it’s overkill, but these guys manage to pull it off.
Since forming in 2010, the band released its first album in 2012, followed by the release of nearly two albums per year until early 2017 with Flying Microtonal Banana. They have also been active in the live gig scene, playing a lot of different venues whilst always being able to draw a crowd. The most noted of these was the aptly named Gizzfest. An Australian wide tour in 2015 that played all the capital cities and included an all ages event as well as an 18+. Early 2017, the band embarked on an international tour starting in the United States before moving onto parts of Europe and then the United Kingdom.
Here are 10 of their more popular tracks, so you can see for yourself why they became so popular, so quickly.
#10 – UH OH I CALLED MUM – 12 BAR BRUISE – 2012
From their first full length album 12 Bar Bruise. Not much in the lyrics department for this song, but great instrumentals. It has a fast paced, almost Ramones style of feel about it. The band, as some sort of tribute to their own unique weirdness, used unconventional recording methods for this and a few other tracks on the album. Such as the song’s lyrics being sung into several mobile phones that were placed around the room.
# 9 – Hot Wax ODDMENTS – 2014
Great drum and harmonica intro, complete with a couple of taps from a vibraslap to give it a unique sound. Makes a reference to the Beach Boys with the lyrics ” Hot wax, c’mon get her, and now everyone’s learning, and now come on a safari with me. ” Although it is fair to say that the Beach Boys are not a direct influence of King Gizzard’s, they have adopted some similar sounds. This song clearly demonstrates the singer’s versatility and the bands ever-changing repertoire.
# 8 – RATTLESNAKE – FLYING MICRO-TONAL BANANA – 2017
Nearly running for eight minutes, Rattlesnake is the opening track for King Gizzards 9th album (Yes 9th album in seven years) entitled Flying Micro-Tonal Banana. A solid tune that contains a great rhythm section and an even better harmonica solo. Although the lyrics are quite repetitive, this one of those upbeat, lighter songs that King Gizzard became famous for.
# 7 – HEAD ON/PILL – FLOAT ALONG FILL YOUR LUNGS – 2013
With a great guitar intro, followed by an Indian sitar this track sounds like something that came straight from the 60’s. Add to that quality vocals and rhythm, something that King Gizzard quickly became famous for, and you get something that will sustain your interest for the 16 minutes that it runs. The sitar set really is the icing on the cake, and a welcome change to some of their music. This is a song that sounds even more enthralling live, which these days is becoming a rarity.
# 6 – FOOTY FOOTY – 12 BAR BRUISE – 2012
Australian or Aussie Rules football is often referred to as footy and is highly popular in the Australian state of Melbourne where King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard members all hail from. This song is about the bands experiences attending the local footy. A song about Aussie football has got to be fast and upbeat. A lot like early punk music where the lyrics are almost yelled instead of sung. Which is exactly what King Gizzard does here.
# 5 – ROBOT STOP – NONAGON INFINTY – 2016
Another top effort from King Gizzard. With some rugged, energetic guitar backed up with some old-school drumming, Robot Stop has proven itself a crowd pleaser. Like almost all the music from King Gizzard, this song shows great originality. The first track on the album, it will flow seamlessly from the last song if you ever play the album on “repeat” mode. The reason for this ? King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are gracious enough to give us an album that can be played on an endless loop. Just another bizarre quirk from the guys.
# 4 – GOD IS IN THE RHYTHM – QUARTERS – 2015
A completely different sound for King Gizzard. This song has more of a slower, harmonious tempo than some of the other stuff they have produced. The way that Stu Mackenzie vocalised in God Is in The Rhythm seems to resemble Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. Perhaps very similar to the Kashmir track. What complements this track is an instrumental piece with great guitar riffs about half way through.
# 3 – PEOPLE VULTURES – NONAGON INFINITY – 2016
The song is a direct criticism of greedy corporations who plunder our planets resources. Hence the name People Vultures. With some almost scratchy heavy metal riffs, the official video from People Vultures looks very much like the clip from Gamma Knife. The reason for that is that both videos are part of an official movie and people vultures carries on from Gamma Knife.
# 2 – SLOW JAM 1 – I”M YOUR MIND FUZZ – 2014
As the name suggests, the guys have shifted gears to get a more contemporary sounding track. A laid back and very chilled piece that steers away from the bands usual stuff. With some great vocals in this track, it’s easy to see why Slow Jam 1 is a favourite amongst fans.
# 1 – GAMMA KNIFE – NONAGON INFINITY – 2016
It seems that King Gizzard’s plan here was a simple one. To come up with a great guitar riff to catch the ear of the listener then repeat as many times as necessary. One they seem to have executed with ease. With that familiar and intentionally muffled vocal sound, this is one of the songs that helped them win the ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) award in the heavy metal category. Named after a surgical tool that uses high amount of heat to cut through skin, Gamma Knife is another high energy piece from King Gizzard with some almost heavy metal riffs, harmonica features and a killer drum solo.