By Foster Modesette
Flightless / ATO
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s newest album Flying Microtonal Banana is the band’s first attempt at experimenting with microtonal sounds. The result is a valiant first attempt, but one that is plagued with too much repetition.
Microtonal music basically uses smaller intervals between notes, allowing for more rapid sounding instruments, a technique popular amongst Eastern music. The first track, “Rattlesnake,” makes great use of this, with background shakers and rattles. The band is sticking to their psychedelic roots, and it sounds fast-paced and very catchy.
However, as the album progresses you begin to realize that almost every song sounds like this. “Melting,” the album’s second track has the same “snake charmer” microtonal sound to it, and it’s hard to make it through three minutes of this, five times in a row.
The band also makes use of strange, ghoulish background noises on “Open Water,” something that sounds like an un-tuned bagpipe is heard throughout the track and later again on the album’s final track, “Flying Microtonal Banana.”
Overall, one can appreciate the band’s attempt to try out these off-kilter tunings, and there are gems on the album: a personal favorite for this reviewer, the song “Nuclear Fusion.” But, the album seems to reuse the same sounds, and it’s not interesting enough to distinguish which songs you like and which are just background noise.Flying Microtonal Banana, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard