Album Review: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Murder of the Universe

Prog punks deliver mighty blast.

Murder Of The Universe is Australian band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s second installment of a proposed five albums to be released in 2017. Self-described as ‘a concept album to end all concepts’, it exhibits a deranged maniacal dexterity, bordering on genius.

To describe it musically, try imagining The Dead Kennedys covering Hawkwind. Prog-punk? They said it couldn’t be done, but the Wizards have almost seamlessly stitched these seemingly diametrically opposed elements together and set their Frankenstein creature shambling into the world.

Split into three sections, or chapters, each telling a different story, it’s not necessary to follow the narrative: understanding is not key to appreciation. Indeed, the only key around these parts is one to a padded cell; the one that gets thrown away soon after you’re snuggled up. The first act, The Tale Of The Altered Beast is basically an 18 minute song that loops back on repeated sections, while a female narrator intones prettily about the – yes, you guessed it – altered beast. Plot spoiler: it doesn’t end well.

With song titles like ‘The Acrid Corpse’ and ‘Vomit Coffin’, you might expect a doom-laden misery-fest, but it’s actually quite hilarious at times. Never has chaos, destruction and the expulsion of bodily waste been so rib-tickling. With lines like “I am a black hole shitting into the void”, it’s difficult not to chuckle. What does it all mean? Who knows? Who cares! When it’s this brilliant, meaning loses all meaning.


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