King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - 'The Silver Cord'

  • 3 min read

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard announce their new album, 'The Silver Cord', out October 27th on KGLW, and present its lead singles/videos, 'Theia / The Silver Cord / Set' the track trio that opens the record.

As King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s 25th album hovers into view, where next for the world’s most restless, most inventive, most gleefully insatiable group? The answer is suggested by the sleeve to 'The Silver Cord', which depicts the six members of King Gizz surrounded by synthesisers of all shapes and eras. This is the album where perhaps the most thrilling rock group on the planet turn their hand to Electronic Music.

'Theia / The Silver Cord / Set' introduces this captivating turn, and offers a glimpse at what is still to come. 'The Silver Cord' does something no King Gizzard album has ever attempted before — becoming an album with a split personality and of divergent possibilities. For 'The Silver Cord' will be available in two incarnations, the first paring its seven tracks back to their hooks, their choruses, their innate pop essence, and respecting the furniture of traditional song form. The second version of the album, however, bulldozes the rules of the three-minute pop hit and lets these robotic tunes run free. 'The Silver Cord - Extended Mix' stretches the connecting tissue between each track as far as it can, with Gizz operating as their own disco remixers and exploring the infinite possibilities contained within these extended futurist anthems, building them into astonishing epics unlike anything else in the group’s voluminous catalogue. 

“The first version’s really condensed, trimming all the fat,” explains Mackenzie. “And on the second version, that first song, ‘Theia’, is 20 minutes long. It’s the ‘everything’ version – those seven songs you’ve already heard on the first version, but with a whole lot of other shit we record while making it. It’s for the Gizz-heads. I love Donna Summer’s records with Giorgio Moroder, and I’d never listen to the short versions now – I’m one of those people who wants to hear the whole thing. We’re testing the boundaries of people’s attention spans when it comes to listening to music, perhaps – but I’m heavily interested in destroying such concepts.”

For King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, there is no final frontier. Over a decade into their quixotic musical journey, this twelve-legged Antipodean noise machine has taken genres as diverse as Turkish psychedelia, motorik prog, conceptual thrash-metal, bucolic folk-rock, liminal funk, haywire garage-noise and even gonzoid hip-hop and bent each one to their will. Longtime Gizz-aficionados will know that 'The Silver Cord' is not the group’s first excursion into the world of wires and oscillators and gadgetry – their 2021 album 'Butterfly 3000' (their 18th, for all the numerologists in the room) was centred around vintage modular synthesisers and arpeggiators they’d liberated from the world’s junk shops along their travels. But that album’s bugged-out progressive pop suite was an offshoot of necessity, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard using this tech as a means to create an album while they were isolated from each other during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

'The Silver Cord', by contrast, is a full-hearted and purposeful embrace of electronic equipment and, indeed, electronic music in its own right. It all began with an ancient electronic drum kit, purchased on impulse by Gizz’s hirsute rhythm master, Michael “Cavs” Cavanagh. The Simmons drum set is an iconic relic of 1980s futurism, its octagonal drum-pads instantly recognisable from music videos of that era. “

"The Simmons kit is really sick, actually,” grins Stu Mackenzie, Gizzard’s singer/guitarist. “It has this little ‘electronic’ brain all the drum-pads plug into, and while the sounds it can make are pretty rudimentary, we soon decided we wanted to commit to it as the drum sound for this next record. We set Cavs’ Simmons kit up in the centre of the room, and then dragged every synth we had in the practice space or lying about our houses into the studio, and plugged everything in. It was chaotic. It was probably the coolest our studio has ever looked, to be honest.”

The group approached the songwriting for The Silver Cord with the same improv impulse that guided its sister album, the thrash epic PetroDragonic Apocalypse, and the preceding Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms And Lava. Each day, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard entered the studio and improvised these songs into existence from the ground up, shaping them from their moments of collaborative, on-the-fly inspiration. The difference from those earlier albums, of course, was the equipment they were using, and the influences they were honouring.

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