Table of Contents
Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
- Genre: Alternative
- Date: 07 Oct, 2022
- Content: explicit
- Region: USA
- Track(s): 7
- ℗ 2022 KGLW
Overall, “Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava” is the product of a band that has no boundaries and is unrelenting in their pursuit of excellence. It resembles a best-of collection, cherry-picking the best sections of some of their original lyrics to create the impression that it is a compilation.
The songs on the album feel like they are birthing secret after secret, sort of like Russian dolls with concept after idea being pulled from the center, if you can call such transformative work “songs.” Although this cellular method has been used before in their work, it has rarely been so obvious or narrowly focused.
This album’s seven songs all have a common musical language, which is where the real beauty of this collection lies. Each musician seems to enjoy the opportunity to explore these sound regions with complete abandon with the other as their instruments blend into one another.
These songs may not be the tightest or most instantly remembered works of songwriting by King Gizzard, but their ingenuity and comradery are clearly on exhibit here, and that is ultimately what this band has always been about. Amongst their illustrious discography, “Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava” stands out.
Album Cover Art
The album title is well illustrated on the cover art with different portions that show pictorial representations of the different words that make up the album title. Quite simple and pretty artistic, accentuated by great shading and coloring.
Tracks and Features
On this most recent Gizzard outing, potent chemistry is unquestionably a motivator. The opening track, “Mycelium,” bursts into this jovial, offbeat rhythm with a syncopation that is somewhat tropical and reminiscent of ska. The clever interplay, which is rippling with light, causes the pop format to be stretched until it entirely collapses, followed by a joyful “woooo!”
Backward tape loops gurgle “Ice V” into existence before a jagged, psych-pop set of guitar chords take over. However, nothing is actually consistent, and within minutes it shifts into a groove with a Krautrock influence, the rhythms endless amid the gospel-infused backup vocals.nIn contrast, the introductory portion of “Magma” is lush and wide open before it narrows down to focused songwriting. It’s a true countercultural statement, all fuzz and wild late 1960s feelings.
With only six minutes, “Lava” is a snip and a pastoral delight. The flute line in their arrangement gives off the impression of a subdued Japanese air. ‘Hell’s Itch’ is enormous by contract, though. It’s a violent, untamed message that lasts for 13 minutes but manages to hold up over such a remarkable time. ‘Hell’s Itch’ is genuinely a journey, a claim made by many bands but only fulfilled by King Gizzard.
Once again switching things up, “Iron Lung” starts as a brief psych-pop reflection before blasting off toward the horizon, the red-hot organ evoking those Brian Auger songs from the late 1960s. All of this builds to the outrageous conclusion of “Gliese 710,” with its warped, repeated lyrics asking that we “reheat the dead.” It makes an attempt to “eat the mushroom / cool the lava” while discordant saxophone plays, essentially making an ecological plea.
One of Mackenzie’s best vocal performances is used to give the album’s summation statement as the song spirals its way into apocalyptic oblivion with the help of a dismal piano part, a beautiful jumble of distorted guitar, organ, and flute.
With their latest release, the band explores more free-form ground by blending disparate influences and bringing disparate styles and concepts together in ways that feel fresh and exciting to both the listener and the band members themselves.
Stu Mackenzie solely handled the production of the album.