King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard announce their first-ever double album, Omnium Gatherum, which is coming soon via their own label KGLW (and available for pre-order on March 22). Today, they share its epic 18-minute lead single, ‘The Dripping Tap‘.
Following 2020’s KG and 2021’s LW and Butterfly 3000, Omnium Gatherum was the first time King Gizzard recorded together as a band since the COVID pandemic hit, and Melbourne placed its citizens under a series of prohibitive lockdown measures. Omnium Gatherum’s sprawling 16 tracks of gonzoid prog jams, dizzying pop nuggets, rubber-legged hip-hop odysseys and passages of pure thrash-metal abandon offer plenty for Gizzard fans and neophytes alike to chew on. Typically, Gizzard albums pursue a single theme or style – for example, Infest The Rat’s Nest’s eco-themed metal barrage, or Butterfly 3000’s new age trance-pop, or Nonagon Infinity’s endless garage-prog contortions – and part of the thrill of Omnium Gatherum for the group was the opportunity of new ideas without committing to deliver an entire album in that vein. It’s the perfect entry point for newcomers, and a solid treat for the faithful as well.
Lead single ‘The Dripping Tap’ is an 18-minute krautrock/garage-psych jam – an ecstatic pile-up of motorik vibes, giddy pop and gleefully gonzo crescendos. It’s unmistakeably Gizzard, with its restless, interlocking riffs and supernatural changes of mood, but it pushes the Lizard Wizard jam archetype a quantum step or three further. The album’s title, Mackenzie says, is “literally Latin for ‘a collection of miscellaneous people or things'” – a fitting sobriquet for Gizzard’s first-ever double album, and their boldest, most ambitious, most far-reaching release yet.’
Conceived as a compendium of unreleased songs that had never found a home on previous Gizzard albums, Omnium Gatherum snowballed, and soon the group were writing and recording new songs for the swiftly expanding album. Its tracks were recorded at Gizz HQ, but also at their legendary, since-vacated clubhouse, 253 Lygon Street, or remotely at home. Lyrically, the themes are diverse, though the group’s concern for the ecological well-being of the planet remains a constant. Some tracks return to the synth-psych visions of Butterfly 3000, others revisit the fevered thrash-metal attack Gizzard coined on 2019’s Infest The Rat’s Nest, elsewhere, the group play bold, unexpected wildcards. Goofball prog, colossal rock-outs and enchanting folksong abound.
Stu Mackenzie elaborates: “This recording session felt significant. Significant because it was the first time all six Gizzards had gotten together after an extraordinarily long time in lockdown. Significant because it produced the longest studio recording we’ve ever released. Significant because (I think) it’s going to change the way we write and record music – at least for a while… A turning point. A touchstone. I think we’re entering into our ‘jammy period’. It feels good.”
The result feels like a Greatest Hits album, in its variety and the strength of the songs – only you’ve never heard any of these tracks before. It’s the sound of a group operating at their absolute peak, a group motivated by a deserved confidence that they could try their hands at anything. It’s also the sound of a group ready to return to the road after two fallow years – a handful of live shows in Australia, performed in the brief windows between lockdowns, has reawakened King Gizzard’s taste for live action. To say that they’re “up for it” would be a dizzying exercise in understatement.