King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard‘s latest slice of coastal-rock-pie is I’m In Your Mind Fuzz. Somehow, despite committing as many musical abominations as there are band members (seven), I’m In Your Mind Fuzz; their fourth album in half as many years, still manages to belie any notion that genre-bending to the point of notoriety will make genre-bending boring. Rather, this album sees the band once again hop like frogs between any given style — the end result comprising one the few success stories of when a band makes an album without appearing to give a fuck.

By ‘musical abominations’, I’m referring to things that around 95% of bands could not get away with on a release. The first and foremost of these is the fact that the music doesn’t really change throughout the opening four songs on the album; with the first 12 minutes of I’m In Your Mind Fuzz dedicated to a medley. The titles of these four songs deviate about as little as the music itself does, and with this said, I guess the titling here is another abomination. ‘I’m In Your Mind’, ‘I’m Not In Your Mind’, ‘Cellophane’, and finally, ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’, all follow pretty much the same pulsating, surf-frenzied rhythm section, only interrupted by the odd drum fill or bass scale. Front man and lead songwriter Stu Mckenzie’s high pitched hook lines and frantic guitar licks differentiate every Cramps slash Thee Oh Sees’-flavored number; begging for concentration from anybody who actually wants to know which of the first four songs they’re listening to. Although simple, and dare I say a little bit boyish, the opening medley compels its listeners to tune into its intricacies — somehow morphing the disengaging fluster of four near-identical garage songs into a wonderfully messy call for attention. Needless to say it’s a flying start to the album.

The second half is where the genre-bending really takes place. Some of the tracks are a little filler-esque, but by ‘some’ I mean about two. More mellow, slow, and shamelessly pedal-washed guitar licks saturate the album after the opening medley, with tracks like ‘Slow Jam 1’ harking so blatantly back to the smooth and sleazy tones of 70s crooner-rock that to indulge in its undeniably rhythmic groove almost induces guilt. ‘Am I In Heaven?’ starts with the Southern-accented ramblings of a delusional bumpkin; “got ideas in my brain ‘bout the end of the world”, before spiraling into another frizzly garage rampage. It’s kind of similar to ‘God Is Calling Me Back Home’ from their 2013 album Float Along/Fill Your Lungs. On that note, the riff in ‘Satan Speeds Up’ is so dauntingly cowboy-Western that it would not have gone astray on their 2013 album of this very nature, Eyes Like The Sky. The final song; a curiously melodic eight-minute slow burner titled ‘Her And I (Slow Jam 2)’, dips its toes into too many styles to make it even vaguely classifiable. 70s-sleaze-rock, abominable use of a wah-pedal, and scents of 60s bossa nova wrap up the album; which, while void of any standout pop tracks, goes to show that derailing convention can have its fruits.

I’m In Your Mind Fuzz is an album that champions guitar effects blatant enough for a school-fair Hendrix tribute act. It doesn’t even disguise its similarities to a range of other bands, and it follows the same drum beat for a good chunk of its duration. Riddled with a number of oddities which would usually be considered musical abominations; I’m In Your Mind Fuzz wasn’t written to please, and yet it does very much. One is left to wonder whether this album was ever intended to stand as some of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s best work yet, because it is.

8/10

 

I’m In Your Mind Fuzz was released on October 31st via Flightless/Remote Control.