King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Quarters!

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On their sixth album, Quarters, the Australian weirdos King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard stretch out their warped psychedelic pop into four songs that each total exactly 10:10 in duration. As usual, they deliver more than enough oddball lyrics, rangy guitar wrangling, and sneaky hooks, only this time they take a very unhurried approach. The long songs unspool like lazy summer afternoons, with the band loafing peacefully in the sunshine. The opening track "The River" gives a good feel for where their collective head is, starting off jangling through some Traffic-style jazz rock, shifting suddenly into a Santana-esque freak out complete with bongos, then after a short breakdown heading back into the Traffic jams, this time with some nifty harmonica. The rest of the songs on the album, especially the echoing "Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer," take similar journeys, as the band truly inhabits each second of each epic song, filling the corners with cool sounds and imaginative arrangements while never veering off into waters that are too uncharted or pedestrian. The tracks apart from "The River" aren't quite as easy to pinpoint, influence-wise, but anyone who's at least mildly conversant in the psychedelic music of the past 40 years will be sure to be able to plug right in and drift merrily downstream. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have never been known for being concise or streamlined, but they show on Quarters that blowing out (more than usual) their sounds and elongating their songs to extremes works really well for them.

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