March 2017, Best Progressive Rock Album: Flying Microtonal Banana by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

KING GIZZARD - 1280x300

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are a prolific psychedelic rock band from Melbourne, Australia, which embarked into the ambitious project to release a total of five studio albums in 2017, each one addressing a specific kind of experimentation. Flying Microtonal Banana, the first album of the project, deals with microtonality, which is about the adoption a special musical scale with more than the standard number of 12 tones, with the result that the separation between adjacent sounds is smaller than what we are accustomed to hear.

Flying Microtonal Banana was the product of Gizzard king Stu Mackenzie acquiring a custom-made guitar modified for microtonal tuning, which allows for intervals smaller than the semitones that govern Western music. And since the new guitar could only be played with similarly tuned instruments, he reportedly paid his bandmates $200 each to also get their gear tricked out with microtonal capabilities. (from Pitchfork)

Leaving aside the technicalities – even because at the end this microtonality issue is hardly perceptibile in the songs, the aspect that interests us the most is that this is really brilliant record!

Flying Microtonal Banana is the ninth album released by the Australian experimental rockers since their formation in 2010. From a musical point of view, the guys play on this record an energetic and explosive mixture of progressive and alternative rock with frenetic rhythms and very funny melodies that stick in your head.

The album is fantastical in its darkness, with layers of murmured vocal harmonies feeding into fuzz-leaden guitar parts and wailing flute melodies. (from DIY)

It’s an album full of  joy, positive, played with verve and great technical ability. Every so often we hear some solo which seems slightly out of tune, but we know now that it is the microtonality! Please look at the video below to understand what’s inside this LP.

Personally I fell in love with this album at the first listen. It’s one of the most innovative and enjoyable things I’ve heard in the recent months and now we are here waiting for the remaining other four albums that these crazy Australians have promised for the current year.

Guerino’s rating: 8 / 10.

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