Trying to predict where King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are going to go with their next record, or how many of them are going to be released in a year, has been a futile task for some time now. However, of all the avenues the band have been down in recent years exploring garage, psych, prog and experimental rock, few would have guessed they’d ever end up here. Infest the Rats’ Nest is, to all intents and purposes, a metal record. It’s loaded with spitfire drums, monster riffs, guttural vocals and thumping bass that at times resemble peak-era Motörhead.
It’s much more heavy and thrash metal territory than some of the more extreme takes on the genre, so it feels accessible, melodic even at times (Mars For The Rich is both stomping and rollicking in all its riff-soaked glory). For those who came to King Gizzard on the back of the blues-tinged glam stomp of 2019’s earlier album Fishing For Fishies, they may be finding the Australians exploring their sharpest musical contrasts to date.
Although for those who have been tapped into the frenetic garage-psych-rock of the band from the early years, this may not feel like too much of a weird side step (think more Pigs x7 than Mayhem). The most satisfying element, however, is that King Gizzard clearly don’t care one way or the other; they are following their instincts, having a riot and making an absolutely blistering racket along the way.
Daniel Dylan Wray