King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Infest The Rats’ Nest [Album Review]

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Infest The Rats’ Nest
Flightless Records [2019]

If you’re a fan of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, then you already know that being surprised is a key element of the band. Despite working tirelessly, they have never churned out the same record over their 15 studio albums in this short seven-year span. Infest The Rats’ Nest continues this pattern.

Infest The Rats’ Nest is a full-on nine-song metal record that covers the thrash side of the genre, drawing comparisons to groups like Slayer and Overkill, while also settling for some similarities to earlier Metallica and Black Sabbath. This record will be received in many different ways, as it is ear-deafening and a complete departure from the warm ’70s disco vibes found on this year’s earlier release, Fishing For Fishies. Some fans may move on from the record because it deviates from the King Gizzard norm, while others who enjoyed the speed of Nonagon Infinity (2016) will love it. Fans of metal should also be into it, and others will view it as another page in the band’s discography that will surely morph on the next release.

I must admit that I don’t frequently listen to thrash metal records. It has probably been some time since Slayer played anywhere near me. However, I recently revisited some Black Sabbath albums and was reminded of why they were great. Infest The Rats’ Nest possesses that same energy. It is a tight and thundering album. Some of the concise synergy stems from the fact that the record was handled by a smaller band setup, as several members were involved in multiple projects. This resulted in Stu Mackenzie and guitarist Joey Walker sharing all the guitar and bass parts, while Michael Cavanagh recorded all the drums for Infest The Rats’ Nest.

This record will certainly stand the test of time when looking back on King Gizzard’s catalog. Most tracks range from 3 to 4 minutes, with one outlier in “Superbug” crossing the 6-minute mark, making the record easily digestible. The lyrics align with the doom theme, as in “Hell” where the opening line stings: “God, it’s pretty hot down here undersurface,” or the molten lava comment in “Self-Immolate.” “Superbug” offers the perfect quote for this record: “Pony up. Join the club. Shake my hand. Let’s run amok.” King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are running, and right now it seems like nobody can get in their way!

“Planet B” / “Superbug” / “Self-Immolate”

Black Sabbath / Metallica / Iron Maiden

Fishing For Fishies (2019) / Gumboot Soup (2017) / Polygondwanaland (2017) / Sketches Of Brunswick East (2017) / Murder Of The Universe (2017) / Flying Microtonal Banana (2017) / Nonagon Infinity (2016) / Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (2015) / Quarters (2015) / I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (2014)

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp | Flightless Records

Christopher Anthony

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