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King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Let the fishes be

On April 26, 2019, the Australian psychedelic rock band released their album “Fishing For Fishies.” Marking their 14th studio album, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard proved once again that they have an insane amount of talent.

The roughly 43 minute album is a statement about environmental change. The band uses their songs to express the growing concerns about pollution and over-farming. The album is upbeat and entertaining, which makes portraying their message even more effective. The psychedelic-techno song “Fishing For Fishies” is adored by fans because of its lively personality. 

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard formed in 2010 in Melbourne. In the span of 12 years the band has released 20 albums. Three more are expected to be released this year, tying the band’s record from 2017 where they released five albums in a year. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are one of the hardest-working bands in the industry.

The band consists of vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Stu Mackenzie and Ambrose Kenny-Smith. Joey Walker and Cook Craig are the main guitarists along with Lucas Harwood on bass and Michael Cavenaugh on the drums.

“Fishing For Fishies” is one of the band’s more popular albums and is a great start to the mayhem that is King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The album uses a mixture of folk rock and boogie rock to bring about a seemingly wholesome feel toward the album. It really utilizes the sound of a harmonica and groovy basslines to bring the boogie into the tracks, although the boogie is misleading. 

The album may be entertaining backing track-wise, however the lyrics express a darker meaning that is worrisome. The first track “Fishing For Fishies” is this playful tune that questions the morality of fishing for pleasure. But through the country/blues feel of the song, it sounds like they are having fun when in reality they are not. 

Mackenzie tries to keep the metaphors subtle yet the worry behind the pressing environmental issues and climate change cannot be expressed more clearly through “Fishing For Fishies.” In a way, much like The Smiths, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard use their catchy tunes as a way of subconsciously spreading their message to their listeners. In the song “Plastic Boogie” it is hard to understand the lyrics but there is a sense of concern and danger that comes from this upbeat song. A closer look at the lyrics show that the song is about pollution. “Death will come from plastic… particles in the ocean.” The song is a warning about our use of plastic but it doesn’t sound like one on your first listen. We become more aware even if we don’t want to and it’s bewitching.

Contradicting itself, each song blends into another making us feel unaware of time. It is not until the final song “Cyboogie” that we notice something is different. At that point we have lost 30 minutes without knowing.         

This band has a cult following for a reason. Incredibly entertaining and hypnotic, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard manage to raise issues of politics and society through a variety of genres effortlessly. There is no stopping them.

For those who do not like bluesy/folky boogie tunes, never fear; King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have heavy metal and alternative albums as well. Not to forget their spaghetti western album from 2013.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard can be found on any streaming platform.


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