Australian rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard released their fifteenth studio album, “Infest the Rats’ Nest,” on Aug. 16 as an experimental look back upon old school metal and psychedelic rock.
The album’s style is pleasantly cluttered.
There is a lot going on in the sound space, and not a single instrument is left unattended to.
Effects are used tastefully to create a balance of clarity and distortion.
Some of the more refined sounds call back to psychedelic rock, adding a trippy flair to familiar metal roots.
Powerful bass lines from Joey Walker blend with full, thrash-inspired guitars, driven by consistent all-out drumming from Michael Cavanagh.
The second track, “Mars For The Rich,” is a standout.
For four and a half minutes, it is impossible not to at least nod along to the groove, and the last minute or so of the track is likely to get you drumming on the nearest surface.
Though the album is categorized as metal on iTunes and other music platforms, there are many genres providing influence.
While metal fans will undoubtedly enjoy thrashing guitar tracks and frontman Stu Mackenzie’s gritty vocals, there are experimental elements at play that could certainly draw in fans of psychedelic rock, punk, surf rock and experimental music as a whole.
Each guitar track calls back to metal bands like Motörhead and Black Sabbath, with guitar credited to Mackenzie, Walker and Cook Craig in the album notes.
The metal mentality of this album shines through on tracks like “Organ Farmer” and “Perihelion,” that sound is contrasted by the slower pace of “Superbug.”
This lengthy track provides a rest in the middle of the album; there are frequent instrumental breaks, with an outstanding one coming in at 2:20.
“Superbug” is a perfectly timed change of pace from fast-paced vocals and driving instrumentals, readying the listener’s palette to dive right back into five more tight tracks.
It is followed up with “Venusian 1,” a heavy metal blitz with a quick enough pace and feeling to give any ‘70s punk track a run for its money.
“Perihelion” feels like a natural continuation from “Venusian 1.” Its intro might lead you to believe that the song is not going to impress, but it is saved by some interesting backing vocals that come in right in time to save the song and push things forward into the closing tracks.
“Infest the Rats’ Nest” serves as a tribute to the metal of yesteryear, but with crystal clear production and experimental influences from a range of genres.
The music refuses to pull at your emotions or sympathize with you at all, but that is not its purpose; it is an energetic, down-and-dirty collection ready for you to lock your door, pile on your darkest makeup or most studded clothing and rock out for a little over 34 minutes