King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard plays Monk’s Thu., June 7, at 9 PM. $20.
It’s been three years since King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard played Missoula. They’ve cranked out six full-length albums since then, with the last five all being (barely) released in 2017. Introducing people to the seven-member Australian psych-rock outfit is one of my favorite things to do. If someone likes jazz, I have them groove to the band’s 2017 album Sketches of Brunswick East. If they only listen to the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon is worth a spin. Or if they’re more like me — don’t cut their hair, wear shirts with holes in them — they can mosh to any of the rest of King Gizzard’s 10 albums.
The band’s lyrics offer up stoner metal fairy tales, depicting fantastical journeys through psychotropic deserts and battles between lightning-wielders and colossal demons. (That is, if you can hear the words through all the reverb and distortion.) From the many-fretted wasteland ballads of Flying Microtonal Banana to the math-rock odyssey of Polygondwanaland, King Gizzard’s soaring guitars and polyrhythms (thanks to drummers Michael Cavanagh and Eric Moore) are as complex as they are thrashy.
Concertgoers should prepare themselves for frontman Stu Mackenzie’s contortionistic guitar solos and signature ‘Eeyup!’ yelp that make throwing your body into other people feel like natural instinct.