Album Review: King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard // Butterfly 3000

The only emotion as extreme as the excitement of having early access to an artist’s release is the devastation of discovering said release is dismal. Listening to Butterfly 3000 in sheer horror as the stellar band are about to put out their most questionable piece of work can be exasperating, but having to tell fans they’re about to be let down is worse.

I know I will probably be met with some sort of criticism from King Gizzard fiends, but I simply refuse to say Butterfly 3000 is anywhere near this multifaceted band’s usual standard. In my desperate search for a standout track I found ‘Blue Morpho’ to be the most digestible one. Perhaps, by placing it in the middle of the album, the band tried to give superfans a lifeline, but it seems clear that any attempt to break from this album’s monotony has proven futile.

As for the most annoyingly repetitive song in the album, ‘Dreams’ takes the cake. Conformed by a sequence played in a loop that could drive the calmest of people crazy. ‘Dreams’ features uber simplistic lyrics and arbitrary sound effects added to simple vocals. Also scoring high on the vexation list, ‘Shanghai’ sounds just like an 8-bit version of a Chinese folk song, but this track has its changing melody to thank for a slightly better rating.

Leaving behind their archetypal colossal droning guitar riffs from thrash-laden masterpiece Infest The Rats’ Nest, the Melbourne natives have created songs that sound repetitive and almost hard to differentiate. Each track flows seamlessly into the next in the worst possible way with lyrics that instead of adding value simply equate to nothing. Artists are often encouraged to evolve and change, but King Gizzard simply shouldn’t have this time around. Their sound went from enthralling and mind-boggling to just wholesome. This wishy-washy ‘wholesome’ leaves us with an abundance of redundant synth riffs, aggravating vocals and unremarkable drum beats.

K.G./L.W., the previous output which they concocted virtually during lockdown, was everything that this record isn’t. The mammoth double album is full of contrasts, up and downs and overall great vocals. Whether Butterfly 3000 will trigger a complete change in direction or just part of King Gizzard’s relentless need to innovate remains to be seen. The one thing that is clear is that this record is far from their almost impeccably curated usual genius. All that’s left is to wait – maybe a mere few months – and see where this watershed moment in their eternal evolutionary process leads them.

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Melanie Kaidan

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