King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Paper Mâché Dream Balloon

The kings are back! King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard that is! And probably not how you imagined. Gracing our ears with new content for the second time in 2015,  KGATLW present their seventh album – Paper Mâché Dream Balloon.

Not ones to release an album of the same calibre twice, these musical chameleons take a step back from psychedelic thrashings to an all over acoustic version of themselves. From acoustic guitars to acoustic base, flute and even fiddle, there is no question about it, this album is breaking down barriers and inviting everyone to come listen.

The album features 12 tracks of unrelated songs, each with their own personality and range of acoustic instruments to create a captivating sound from start to finish. Unlike the experimental 10 minute songs from their previous EP Quarters, KGATLW have kept this album short and sweet with tunes averaging around three minute mark with the exception of one track straying a little longer.

When first listening to the album I advise closing all the blinds, finding a lava lamp or a luminous light of some kind to set the pop psychedelic type mood and shut off most of your senses. The lead track of the album “Senses” needs no introduction. Out of the 12 possible tracks to choose from to set the mood, KGATLW picked a gem. Imagine this, you press play, sit back and wait for the 70s flashback psych rock but instead a delicate jazz tune emerges with clarinet and a slow soothing beat met with Stu Mackenzie’s low hushed voice. Add a couple of string instruments, begin tapping a leg to the beat and enjoy.

But don’t get too comfortable, with each new song, the beat, rhythm and mood changes ever so slightly to make the listener feel as though they are missing out on something if they skip past any song. The following tracks “Bone” and “Dirt” introduce the use of flute and harmonica to the instrumental repertoire. But it is the fifth track of the album “Trapdoor” acting as the quirky game changer of the bunch. The energetic spooky stuck-in-your head nature of the song almost makes you paranoid just by listening to it but in a good way. “Trapdoor” is the pinnacle of the album, showcasing KGATLW ability to pick the listener up from an easy listening dream state of consciousness and throw their mind into a completely different direction.

Like a Mars Bar chocolate, the centre of Paper Mache Dream Balloon provides a welcomed change. “The Bitter Boogie” and “N.G.R.I (bloodstain)” fall in the middle of the album adding a bluesy feel to change the pace once more. With the songs sounding this good, the next KGATLW album could very well be blues inspired. But that’s not all. The closing statement of the album is the instrumental number “Paper Mache”. Not to be confused with “Paper Mache Dream Balloon”, “Paper Mache” brings the album full circle with melodies from previous songs incorporated in the tune. Although the songs listened to individually may make no sense, once listened to as a whole the conclusion speaks for itself with the beautifully crafted ending to the concept-less concept album of the year.

Whatever your flavour, Paper Mache Dream Balloon has at least one song for everyone. The album is true testate to the Melbourne psych rockers proving that no genre is off limits, no instrument acoustic or other wise will be left untouched and no expectations should be given to the musical genius ‘ that are King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

Rating 6/10

Artist: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Album: Paper Mache Dream Balloon
Label: Flightless
Genre: Garage, Psychedelic rock
Moments of standout: “Trapdoor” and “Senses”

This review was written by: Caitlin

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