King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard // Polygondwanaland
Polygondwanaland is one of the best rock records of 2017.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Polygondwanaland is the fourth album released by Australian psych-rock giants King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard this year, and with only December left, the band has plans for one more release. But if ambition is only 25 percent of what makes the outfit living legends, the other 75 percent is execution. Each release from the band has built upon their last, referencing lyrical motifs and riffs that consistently shift shape. Polygondwanaland is pure Dungeons & Dragons rock, but you don't need to be a Tolkien fan to appreciate this technical powerhouse. Albums in-between have explored ambitious concepts and jazzy side-streets, but Polygondwanaland plays most like a spiritual successor to 2016's Nonagon Infinity and this year's Flying Microtonal Banana, marrying extended psychedelic freakouts with acoustic (or muted electric) arrangements and hushed vocals. Opener "Crumbling Castle" is an 11-minute monolith that rivals anything in the band's catalog (particularly echoing FMB's similarly lengthy opener "Rattlesnake"), while pulsating synth underlines tracks like "Loyalty," delivering on the band's prog-rock promise. Polygondwanaland isn't just King Gizzard's strongest release yet — it's also one of the best (free) rock records of 2017.
— Aaron Mook