Album Review: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - '12 Bar Bruise'

16 September 2012 | 10:31 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Nostalgic rock from local upstarts

A change of pace is a good thing? Right?! Sometimes we need something smooth, something chilled, maybe a little less threatening to break up a diet of blast beats, breakdowns and bass drops.

There’s a time and place for everything and perhaps locals King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have found their ideal niche. That’s not to say that new album ’12 Bar Bruise’ is elitist, instead it simply affirms the Carlton band create and cultivate a sound that offers a point of difference to contemporary rock and heavier stylings.

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The name itself is going to generate interest here, even if it is just created out of simple curiosity.

Garage rock might be an apt label, but still sounds a bit seedy of a term. Is surf rock more precise? ’12 Bar Bruise’ has a strong nostalgic quality to it, coupled with modest charm. It does feel a little mundane and repetitive in patches, but its chilled musical qualities make this full-length effective enough.

Elbow’ begins in a casual, distorted, yet enjoyable manner, with the track engaging and the music relatable. The transition into subsequent tracks is smooth, with ‘Nein’ similar in approach.

The title track is little monotone, but ‘Garage Liddiard’ picks up the delivery again. While ‘Footy, Footy’ is probably an ideal song for this time of year. The names of past players sung in the song makes from an interesting sign off. Ashley Sampi, really?

In terms of longevity and greater impact ’12 Bar Bruise’ may fall slightly short, but for the immediate and innocent factor, the recording presents a degree of enjoyment. It’s honest and humble more than grand and imposing.

It’s 12 tracks of sustained traditional rock, with a strong old-school flavour. It doesn’t grab you unconditionally, but thankfully it doesn’t deter either.

'12 Bar Blues’ is fun. That’s probably the long and the short of it. Don’t dig too deep, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard offer an entertaining dose of rock, which may fall flat in certain areas, but engages equally at others. Worth a look in.

1. Elbow

2. Muckraker

3. Nein

4. 12 Bar Bruise

5. Garage Liddiard

6. Sam Cherry’s Last Shot

7. High Hopes Low

8. Cut Throat Boogie

9. Bloody Ripper

10. Uh Oh, I Called Mum

11. Sea of Trees

12. Footy Footy