King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Paper Mache Dream Balloon - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Paper Mache Dream Balloon

by Ian Fraser Rating:6 Release Date:2015-11-13

Eschewing predictability (as is their want) on this, their seventh album in five years, the prolific Aussies ditch the longer, more conceptual  pieces of Quarters in favour of short numbers recorded using acoustic instruments – guitars, flute, stand-up bass, harmonica, standard drum-kit and all manner of found instruments.

The result is a band that sounds like its having a ball. The happy and innocent sounding vibe – although lyrically it's a few shades darker in places - veers towards a bucolic bubble-gum psychedelia ('Bones', 'Dirt', the title track to pick on just a few), sometimes punctuated by wafts of added, down-home grit, courtesy of a plaintive-sounding harmonica. It could all be Unknown Mortal Orchestra scoring one of the groovier episodes of Sesame Street. The corny, cod-scary “Trapdoor” trills and skips along like the soundtrack to a Halloween party that all the family can join in while “Time Fate” comes across as a latter day Beatles outtake and “The Bitter Boogie” rather like a more polite early, bluesy incarnation Jethro Tull. Top marks for jaunty catchiness, though, go to “Cold Cadaver” and “NGRI Bloodstain” where the ingredients achieve just about the right amount of steeping and seasoning. It’s all bookended by the pleasing soul-jazz lightness of “Sense” and “Paper Mache”, which provides a brief instrumental run through of much of what precedes it.

Aside from an occasional tendency towards twee-ness Stu Mackenzie and his troupe have a refreshing go at steering the psychedelic circus out of Dronesville, which lets it face it needs to happen. It's a nice try anyway and while I'm not sure how they’ll translate all of this into one of their much vaunted live shows, won’t it be fun to find out?

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