The ever-changing, pulsating beast that King Gizzard is beats on with their new record Infest the Rats’ Nest. Right from the get go on the first track and single “Planet B,” the listener is made aware that this is no Fishing for Fishies, their April 2019 release. The crunch of the muted guitar is enough to melt someone’s face off, and that’s before shit hits the fan with the pure chaos that occurs right before the verse. It’s loud and abrasive, but it’s relieving in all of its’ noiseful glory.
Stu Mackenzie, Giz frontman, also wants you to know how badly humans have fucked the earth over. The first two tracks on Rat’s Nest are smeared with anger and frustration as to the looming doomsday scenario humans are creating for themselves. From the cautious warning in “Planet B,” to the realization that only the rich can survive Earth’s passing on “Mars for the Rich.” As the world ignores the impending doom, King Giz tears it open and shows it for what it very well could be: a global shitshow where only those with wealth can survive, those without are forced to fend for themselves, if there’s even a place to try to survive in.
Throughout the album, you hear influence spanning generations of metal: there’s Deep Purple in “Planet B,” Black Sabbath in “Mars for the Rich,” Electric Wizard in “Superbug,” the list goes on. But the catch is that Gizzard has taken the influence and created their own kind of metal. With respect to the impact these bands have had, King Giz runs with their own sound, building on what they’ve created in the past (you can hear Stu’s throat singing from Murder of the Universe), and creating a new era of the beast of Gizzard.
Not ones for simplicity, King Giz designed the second half of Rats’ Nest as a concept album about a group of rebels that have been kicked off of Earth and are attempting to settle Venus. “Venusian 1” is an intense and daunting track detailing the new world these rebels are soon to call home. “Perihelion” tells the tale of the takeoff from Earth. Perihelion is the point in which a planet is closest to the sun, making it easier for the rebels to get to Venus and creating less travel time. While it is the album’s weakest track, the chorus is bound to get stuck in your head and also spike anxiety levels while thinking about being in the rebel’s shoes. The second single and eighth track “Self-Immolate” soon follows, which describes a gruesome end to the crew on the Venusian 2, as they are enveloped in flames as they enter the Venus atmosphere and turning into a ball of flames. Another daunting track, the speed here in unmatched along with the sheer ability each member of this beast of a band possesses.
Show someone who’s never heard of Gizzard Sketches of Brunswick East and Infest the Rats’ Nest, and they’ll never know that they are the same band on both albums, the same seven people (albeit Sketches is a collab album with Mild High Club), all working alongside one another and creating the Gizzverse. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is the most interesting band to watch grow, because they will never be idle for more than a year. When they’re not recording albums about the impending doom of Earth, they’re playing sold-out shows across the world, or creating a video game, or a music video, or organizing Gizzfest. One of the most prolific bands of all time and not ones to settle down too easily, King Giz will keep on building (as long as the earth doesn’t die before then).