King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Following up your debut with an album comprised of a full on voice over Western is a ballsy move for anyone. It’s an exceptionally ballsy move for a bunch of Aussies who are geographically and culturally removed from the American West by almost 7500 miles. The band embraced the voice over in the past, utilizing narrator Broderick Smith on 12 Bar Bruise's "Sam Cherry's Last Shot". It seemed like a one off trick at the time, not the impetus for a full bore follow-up. However, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard deftly wrap their Morricone meets Jarmush narration-pocked odyssey in the kind of Spaghetti Western grit that feels pulled out of time and ambitiously cinematic in its execution. The Jarmush notes are no joke here either, Eyes Like the Sky plays out like an aural recreation of Dead Man narrated by a grizzle-throated Sam Elliot. To complete the effect the band drops in plenty of golden era radio sound effects, creating a kind of surreal, dark Sunday serial that would scare Little Orphan Annie halfway to Topeka. The record isn't the kind that can be lightly played in the background, but as a centerpiece of listening it achieves a balance of musical homage to the Sergio Leone crowd and oral tradition storytelling that seems to have lost itself in the digital age. Its can be said that many bands don't take chances, but that much can never be said of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. I'd have to say I'm mighty interested in what they'll do next, and fairly certain that I'll be surprised.
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