King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard continued their wild sonic odyssey with the release of their 25th studio album (and seventh in just two years), The Silver Cord, taking a gigantic leap into electronica.
Trading in their usual guitar impulses, the prolific Aussies have served up a deliciously psychedelic synth-y sound throughout The Silver Cord, with nods to techno legends like Kraftwerk and Underworld.
In a Gizz first, the album is divided into two parts, the first featuring snappy “hooks only” versions of the songs, with the second offering enticing extended cuts.
The highlight of the entire piece might be the intimidating “Theia”, which transforms from a tight 3-minute rack into a mind-bending and meditative 20-minute odyssey. With its nicely weird atmosphere and catchy repetitive chorus, “Theia” provides plenty to satisfy both the casual listener and the most devout Gizz fan.
Let lead singer Stu Mackenzie explain all: “The first version’s really condensed, trimming all the fat. And on the second version, that first song, ‘Theia’, is 20 minutes long. It’s the ‘everything’ version – those seven songs you’ve already heard on the first version, but with a whole lot of other shit we record while making it. It’s for the Gizz-heads.
“I love Donna Summer’s records with Giorgio Moroder, and I’d never listen to the short versions now – I’m one of those people who wants to hear the whole thing. We’re testing the boundaries of people’s attention spans when it comes to listening to music, perhaps – but I’m heavily interested in destroying such concepts.”
While The Silver Cord definitely isn’t the first electronic endeavour of Gizz, it represents a more deliberate foray towards a wider electronic sound. “We come at electronic music from an amateur angle,” Mackenzie humbly acknowledges.
“I play the Juno synthesiser like a guitar, I don’t really know how to play it. But I wanted to be at peace with being the rock band pretending to know how to use modular synthesisers. We’re in uncharted waters, we’re further out to sea, but leaning into it, and we got to a spot where we were really happy with what came out.”
It may be “uncharted waters” for Gizz, but if “Theia” is any indication, they’re navigating the ocean rather impressively.
It could be a big month for the band. They’re nominated for four awards at next week’s 2023 ARIA awards: Best Group, Best Rock Album, Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album, and Best Video.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s The Silver Cord is out now.