It’s pretty rare to come across an album that tells you exactly what it’s about on the cover.
But King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard did just that with Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava. The band also managed to make an electrifying album in the process.
The rock band’s albums are uniquely fun because of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s unrivaled experimentation. By 2030, I predict the group will have covered every genre if it continues at its current pace of creating multiple albums per year.
The band is set to release two more albums later in October, including Laminated Denim and Changes. In the first of the three, released on Oct. 7, King Gizzard presents a delightful jazz-rock epic about a mythology of nature.
Delightful might even be an understatement for how bright the songs on this album are. From the start, an upbeat guitar riff kicks in as the vocals begin with a discussion of fungi outliving mankind. It’s so ridiculous it’s incredible.
The lyrics on “Magma” and “Lava” contemplate an ever-present magma god living beneath the earth and how his lava is “sticky like peanut butter.” Apparently, “death smells like boiled eggs.”
Every song on the album is whimsical and dynamic. It’s truly a joy to follow the band as it concocts bizarre lore about the world.
The songs themselves constantly fluctuate as different beats or instruments come to the forefront of the upbeat tracks, keeping the journey engaging. There’s not a song on this album under six minutes, but none of them feel all that long.
The jazzy style works wonders for keeping the listener hooked. It’s more than just the sound—it’s the free-flowing, shifting structure. Different instruments float in and out in waves of improvisation.
The album was cut from several improvised jam sessions, according to the band’s Twitter page. It captures the dynamic of a young band sitting around and running with whatever sticks to the wall. But King Gizzard has the talent of a band that has put out hit after hit for over a decade.
Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava is not without its flaws. While the lyricism is mostly on point, “Ice V” has a habit of repeating its title instead of adding to the comprehensive mythology that flows through much of the album. The album doesn’t stick to an airtight concept, as the track “Iron Lung” almost entirely abandons the lore set up in the first half of the album.
While some tracks drag on a bit too long, the album’s faults pale in comparison to what the album does right.
It’s the kind of album that gets to the heart and beauty of music as a whole. There’s so much creativity in lyricism, structure, and blending of the instruments. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, the band called Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava the result of its most intense collaboration yet. It shows.
Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava pulls together the natural talents of all the band members to create an album that is a supernaturally solid listen.