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Flying Microtonal Banana

by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Released February 24, 2017 via Flightless Records / ATO Records / Heavenly Recordings

Reviewed February 22, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Rattlesnake (64%), Nuclear Fusion (49%), Sleep Drifter (43%)

With 18 albums (as of February 2022) under their belt, it’s incredibly difficult to single out one album as King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard’s best; but their first exploration into microtonal tuning—and the first of five releases in 2017 that they’d put out—certainly stands out as their grooviest. As one of the most ambitious acts of the 2010s and beyond, King Gizzard’s music is consistently mind-numbing, hypnotic, and unpredictable; they reinvent themselves with every other release. Flying Microtonal Banana sees the Australian seven-piece tapping into Anatolian traditions and the sounds of Turkish folk music through the use of notes unseen in traditional Western instruments. The band uses special-made guitars, and harmonicas that were crafted specifically for the use of microtones. Additionally, King Gizz brings in bongos and a zurna (a Middle-Eastern wind instrument) to round out their sound on several of the tracks. These influences lend incredibly well to the band’s sound, adding a new desert-like—and occasionally dissonant—flavor to their already heavily layered instrumentation. The intense energy and driving bassline of “Rattlesnake” feels akin to a jam sesh, as well as the more spacious and mesmerizing atmosphere of “Sleep Drifter.” This record is loaded with some of the group’s most fun listens, making Flying Microtonal Banana a truly entrancing listening experience. – Dominick (8.8/10)

Eastern philosophy infiltrated Western culture a long time ago; the sounds took their time, however. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, experimenting with microtonal tunings, bring their most repetitive, hallucinatory record to life through the use of iterative/seismic changes. The Melbourne boys and their infatuation with the psychedelic side of life comes to full fruition on Flying Microtonal Banana; the first of five full-length projects released by King Gizz over the course of 2017. Yes, five. With the standard of each release standing firm, King Gizz proved their stronghold of the psychedelic realm was one of severe intent. Flying Microtonal Banana is something of a contemporary psychedelic jam gem. – Peter (8/10)

Jared: 9.5/10 | Hadley: 9/10 | Dominick: 8.8/10 | Cam: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8/10 | Alan: 6.4/10


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