What with all the time-consuming acid trips and having to grow your hair long, psych-rock hasn’t generally attracted a lot of people with a strong Protestant work ethic. That’s at least until bizarrely titled Melbourne seven-piece King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard gave the genre a shot in the arm and made everyone else look downright idle by releasing eight records in the last four years. Now they’ve upped the ante even further, announcing that in 2017 they’ll release no fewer than five new albums.
“I figured I’m no good at chilling,” says Stu Mackenzie, frontman, flautist and master of understatement. “Over the years I’ve tried to keep myself super busy so I don’t go insane. If I’m going to be a musician and a creative person, I may as well be a productive creative person.”
As anyone who’s seen King Gizzard live can attest, they’re not the sorts to do things half-arsed. At Green Man this year their extensive lineup meant they had two drummers firing like twin engines and still had manpower left over for three guitars, a harmonica, a theremin and even the odd bit of Mackenzie’s flute. Everything was played very loud at 1,000mph, and the effect on the crowd was to create a circle pit of sweaty bodies who swirled into a vortex as if they were being sucked down a festival-sized plughole.