King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: A Beginner's Guide into the Gizzverse

 

This ain’t your typical hitchhiker’s guide. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard takes you on way more than just a journey from A to B. We're celebrating Gizzard's largest Texas show yet with this list of 10 pivotal moments and albums in the band's career, taking them from dive bars to stadiums - and beyond!


Forget even having a destination in mind—since forming in 2010, this band has been changing their own path over and over again like a shooting star of firey space gas from millennia ago. 

Since then they have released over 20 albums and show no signs of stopping the ride. So, as you can imagine, we’re not going to touch on every album on here. However, we do encourage everyone to hop in the car that is King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and make their own memories through the Gizzverse. Just let us be your trip sitter into the beautiful chaos of this ever-evolving band. Starting with their first album and ending with the recently-released Levitation Box Set that features Live in Chicago ‘23 and Demos Vol. 5 & Vol. 6—you’re in for a wild ride.  


WILLOUGHBY'S BEACH

So first off, let’s dive right into their 2011 debut Willoughby’s Beach. This album is a very very calm way to start with these otherwise chaotic boys. It shows their roots coming from the desire to just hang with friends, have fun, and make music. This album portrays them as young surf punks, beach garage rockers… But don’t get attached to that. 

“Black Tooth” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Willoughby’s Beach


FLOAT ALONG - FILL YOUR LUNGS

Now, let’s skip to 2013 with Float Along - Fill Your Lungs. Here is your first taste of the trippy psychedelic waves of sound that are to grow and get stronger as the Gizzverse expands. The beachy rock vibes from their debut have almost vanished completely and now otherworldly essences seem to be in play. This is the album that first got fans puzzling over what could possibly come out next from this King.

“30 Past 7” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Float Along - Fill Your Lungs

“Cellophane” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from I’m In Your Mind Fuzz


 

I'M IN YOUR MIND

Here we take another time-jump and head to their 2014 album I’m In Your Mind Fuzz. By this album, it feels like they have full-heartedly figured out exactly who King Gizzard is and are unafraid to express it. This is the album that officially solidified their seat on the psych-rock throne. 2014 also marked the year they made their North American debut, playing Austin Psych Fest to a packed early crowd. That set is captured as disc one of our Live at Levitation release!

Another year later and we’re at Paper Mâché Dream Balloon. This is their version of an “acoustic” album. But this isn’t your neighborhood sad boy bedroom music. This album is still just as groovy as the King demands his Gizzverse to be and even includes some fantastic wind instruments. 

“Trapdoor” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Paper Mâché Dream Balloon


 

NONAGON INFINITY 

Their next album, Nonagon Infinity in 2016 was probably what really set their name in the stars. This album is so perfect in the sense that you can start it anywhere and listen to it on a loop and it will always tell you a magical story. It’s a little darker, a little more intricate, and a whole lot more in-your-face. 

The band celebrated the release of the album at LEVITATION 2016 - not the way anyone expected after the festival was cancelled due to severe weather, but instead becoming the MVPs of the weekend headlining two showcases at Barracuda (RIP) for a grateful and insanely hyped crowd. A compilation of those sets is DISC TWO of their Live at Levitation release!

“Robot Stop” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Nangon Infinity


 

POLYGONDWANALAND

Album number 12 was a milestone not just musically, but also a game changer for the band's ever-expanding universe of fans, and was announced November 14, 2017 by the band with epic news: "This album is FREE. Free as in, free". Released under an open source license—the band uploaded the master tapes online for anyone to freely use and launched their Bootlegger series opening up a world of recordings and releases. It's been a genius move from the band, giving fans (including us!) a chance to create their own versions of releases, and giving them a stake in the band's musical universe. It's hard to say if that's the moment that took the band on the path they're now on, but it certainly seems to have helped.

After being released by 88 labels worldwide in 188 different variants they announced an 'official Flightless pressing' of Polygondwanaland. We've lost count of how many pressings there are now!


FLYING MICROTONAL BANANA

Then in 2017, they stuff a banana in the gas pipe of their norm and released Flying Microtonal Banana—an album completely recorded in microtonal. Which basically means that they played “in-between” the typical 12 notes of Western society music. “Out of tune,” some closed-minded American guitarist might say, but arranged properly and you get this transcendental beauty of an album. 

Now, we’re about to skip a lot of REALLY AWESOME albums that they released in 2017-2018, but this is a beginner’s guide, remember? The isn’t a guide to every album, so we encourage you to go back and check them out yourself, but for now… On to 2019!


 

INFEST THE RATS' NEST

Here, we’re making a stop at their first thrash metal album Infest The Rats’ Nest. This is just a sick album, like, in all the history of music ever existing—we’re including whatever rocks and trees cavemen were banging on to make a melody. If you don’t like metal, then you probably won’t agree with us, but it also makes an urgent statement about ecological disaster we think any Gizz fan would agree with. 

 

“Planet B” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Infest The Rats’ Nest


 

OMNIUM GATHERUM

Again, we’re going to make a big hop over some magical albums, even skipping over the pandemic, to go straight to 2022 with the album Omnium Gatherum. Now here is an album that has a song for every music fan. Here the King is announcing to the Gizzverse that yes, he is the master of psychedelic rock and ominous tales told through melody, but he is also an ever-expanding being. They hit pop, rock, rap, and then some. It’s honestly epic AF.

Also in 2022, they released Changes, which was another turn down an unknown road on the ride for King Gizzard. Here they created a catchy R&B-inspired album that’s sexy, groovy, and perfect to dance with your honey to. This album makes you think that maybe the King Gizzard found his Queen Lizard Wizard.

“Hate Dancin’” King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard from Changes


LIVE AT RED ROCKS '22

Finally, we end on their unfathomably epic live album recorded at the band's 3 nights at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater. This album showcases one of the best bands on the planet doing their thing over 86 tracks!

This marks the moment in the time when the band went from psych rock cult band to a rock music institution. At that point, it was undeniable, Gizzard has transcended genre and their influences to become one of the biggest - and in our opinion one of the best - bands on the planet. 

We took on the ambitious project of pressing this Bootlegger release to vinyl, and while the splatter version is sold out you can still grab one of the last of the 12xLP boxset Neon Half and Half pressings here:  HERE!


WHAT'S NEXT???

Who knows what's next for Gizzard. Breezy folk? A synth masterpiece? Another trash metal banger like their latest 2023 release PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or Dawn of Eternal? Whatever it is, you can bet we'll be there!  We've jumped into the Gizz wormhole and we're never coming out. 

Following the Red Rocks boxset we've got two brand new ones for you in the shop :  Live in Chicago ‘23 which captures the essence of what their live set is like— and Demos Vol. 5 & Vol. 6, which feels more like a gift from the band to fans, because now you get that little extra good-good to show off to your friends. “Oh, you think you’re a Gizz fan?? Do YOU have this album? I don’t think so.”

Anyways, hopefully, we have well prepared you for your long never-ending and ever-evolving ride that is your newfound fandom of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. Welcome to the Gizzverse, my friend. Buckle up.z

Hope to see you at their 3 Hour Marathon set next year in Austin - NOV 15, 2024! Grab tickets HERE.


by ELENA CHILDERS

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