King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland

Polygondwanaland is an album quintessential of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’ sound; rich in both zany instrumentation as well as explorative lyrics. There’s a greater presence than we are used to and the inclusion of harmonicas, flutes and keyboards give a new spark to an album that is a culmination of the strong ideas behind the band’s previous works. What they lack in emotional intensity after funnelling out three albums out in one year (so far), they certainly make up for with well rounded, yet unusual intricacies across a slightly outlandish record.

Beginning with the epic 10-minute Crumbling Castle that details a narrative of a fictional land we hear of people preparing for their uncertain fate. This sets up the rest of the album for whimsical storytelling and lyrics akin to old myths and legends; ‘and there’s men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders’.  The album then winds its way through mystical absurdities matched with punchy psychedelic vibes that definitely play to the individual members’ strengths. Despite Polygondwanaland probably being one of their strongest albums yet, it can’t help but be noted that there’s a similarity across the last few king Gizzard and the Lizard albums. We all know how pressure can force creativity to spark, but perhaps pushing out an album every three months is the limit to that. Whereas most artists would hide the songs that were a work in progress, it seems that King Gizzard releases them with each step. You can see the ideas and themes gradually become more defined, and Polygondwanaland enhances the greatest elements of each.

But the talking point of this album isn’t the album itself, the talking point is that it’s free. Free to listen to. Free to download. Free to share with your friends. And if you want a physical copy, free to press onto CD or Vinyl to sell for profit. Polygondwanaland is being released by the fans “we do not own this record, you do, go forth, enjoy, share”

This unique mode of release could perhaps be seen as a gimmick to gain wider listenership. Or it could be a way for the already well known Aussie rock band to save money. Or it is possible the band realise the music industry is currently dominated by streaming services, with the majority of people paying for live performances rather than buying individual albums. It could be any of those reasons, or more, but as frontman Stu expresses, it actually just seemed like a rather novel idea; “it’s a fascinating experiment for us to do… to be completely honest with you I don’t think we thought it through” (NME interview).

Perhaps it wasn’t a thought of theirs, but the alternative approach to releasing their record has meant small scale indie labels, through kickstarters and communities of fans, have been able to get their names out there as one of the producing bodies printing the records. In turn, what started as an experiment has been a success for the band, for indie labels, and for fans alike. It truly shows the strength of the people who love the music, not just the power of the people who’ve created it.

 

A little bit mad, and a lot fantastical, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have definitely broken down the limitations of the current state of music production.

 

We have collected a short list of record labels where you can buy the album.

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