For many bands, three months is only half of a promotional cycle. But for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the three months that passed since their last album K.G. means they’re due for the follow-up. Today, Melbourne’s hardest-working rock band has announced L.W., out February 26th, and they’ve also shared the new single “Pleura”.
The psychedelic rockers didn’t initially plan to make a pair of linked album. As frontman Stu Mackenzie explained in a statement, the original goal involved “the notes between the notes,” returning to the microtonal explorations they had first begun on 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana. Then the quarantine compositions took on a life of their own. He said,
“We wanted to make new music that was somehow more colorful this time around, and which maybe reflected the many new things that we have learned along the way. After recording Flying Microtonal Banana the songs expanded when we played them live, so we felt ready to tackle the microtonal landscape again. Making these two new records was not expected, but because they were recorded in a way that was new to us – not being in the room at the same time – there was a feeling of almost being over-prepared, which is definitely not normal for us. Whatever normal is.”
KG and the LW fought this over-preparedness by recording the music video for “Pleura” live. The visuals were directed by John Angus Stewart, who previously led the band’s 2020 concert film Chunky Shrapnel. Here, the screen is broken down into six squares, with each section following a different member of the band. “There is something that happens with the way we perceive images, if something “live” is too produced, your mind sort of loses interest,” Stewart said. “With this format, we wanted to leave the editing up to the viewer. The decision of who to look at, and at what time determines each individual viewing experience. With each watch your experience will be completely different, which mirrors Gizzard’s experience playing the song live. The process is the same, yet the result is different.”
The song itself is concerned with the dark art of necromancy, at least on a literal level. A pleura is each of a pair of membranes that line the thorax and envelope the lungs, assisting with the delicate art of breathing. Mackenzie sings, “Drink the blood of that you spill/ Underneath the whippoorwill/ One more piece of Jenga to pull/ Then necromancer will thank us all.” Sounds like a daunting quest in Dungeons and Dragons, and yet there are hints that the band has grander ambitions. Perhaps it’s just my poisoned American mind, but “Orange baby always squealing,” might recall certain political figures. Along with the title, lines like, “The final test, it takes your breath,” might imply a certain yearlong pandemic. Or not; it’s easy to overanalyze these flights of fancy, and the song certainly works on its own merits as a lung-ripping rock song. Check out “Pleura” below.
L.W. casts its spell on February 26th. Previously, the band shared “O.N.E.” and “If Not Now, Then When?”. Late last year, King Gizzard launched a bootleg program encouraging fans to share their music in new and exciting ways.
01. If Not Now, Then When?
04. Supreme Ascendancy
05. Static Electricity
06. East West Link
08. See Me