Album review: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s ‘Flying Microtonal Banana’


Four stars

Flying Microtonal Banana King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard plans to release five studio albums this year. Five. That means if you don’t like Flying Microtonal Banana—the Australians’ first new record since Nonagon Infinity, released 10 long months ago—you’ve got more music coming soon, probably by the time you finish this sentence. But you might not need it, because Banana is pretty tasty.

Perched between Nonagon’s driving prog and the genteel hippiedom of 2015’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon, Banana employs microtonal tuning—“intervals smaller than a semitone, which are also called ‘microintervals,’” k thx Wikipedia—to deliver a nine-song set of bright, enjoyable psychedelia. Album opener “Rattlesnake” keeps things simple—a rhythm that chugs along like a gas engine, lyrics that largely consist of the title repeated over and over—and yet it wouldn’t sound out of place on the Deep Purple records that probably inspired it. Other album highlights, including the swaying “Nuclear Fusion” and the frontier melodrama “Billabong Valley,” also evoke liquid light backdrops, blotter acid and Nehru jackets, and though Banana doesn’t quite move beyond those tentpoles, it’s still a hell of a trip.

Photo of Geoff Carter

Geoff Carter

Experts in paleoanthropology believe that Geoff Carter began his career in journalism sometime in the early Grunge period, when he ...

Get more Geoff Carter
  • It must have been intimidating for Thundercat—then a teenager—to be in the room with the gravitational force that is Erykah Badu.

  • Like a frozen margarita served poolside, “Don’t Sleep” is funky, refreshing and perfect for summer days.

  • “When I first came in, I thought, ‘This place is huge,’ but actually, the whole festival is right here,” founder Evan Hagen says, gesturing to ...

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story