Song of the Day

Beginner’s Luck by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (2017)

“Join me at the table if you’d like to place a bet / All the cash that’s filling your pockets is waiting to be spent.”

There’s ambition, and then there’s AMBITION.  King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, in addition to having the best band name in rock today, released five albums last year.  FIVE!!!  That’s twice in the opening paragraph I went to all caps, if that gives you any indication as to how impressed I am with their ambition.

Bands today (there’s about 17 left) release an album about every two years, if we’re lucky.  Long gone are the days where we had annual masterpiece albums by the same band — or even albums, period — regardless of if they were masterpieces or not.  We no longer get crazy album runs for consecutive years like The Beatles (Rubber Soul; Revolver; Sgt. Pepper; The White Album; Abbey Road) in the late 1960s or David Bowie (Space Oddity; The Man Who Sold the World; Hunky Dory; Ziggy Stardust; Aladdin Sane) in the 1970s.  Granted, these are extreme examples, but no one even attempts this anymore.  Now, any artist would be satisfied to have one album they’re remembered by, let alone five…in five straight years.  I’ll go even further.  Take away the pressure of making a classic album for a minute.  Just putting out one quality album a year is hard.  Two is rare.  Three is almost unheard of.  Five?  No.  No one does that.  Except for these guys.

The ambition it must take to make five new albums in one year makes my head spin.  It’d be amazing if it were a solo recording artist, but there are seven guys in this band.  I mean, come on.  It’s enough to make me feel inadequate with my own creative endeavors.  Why don’t I write five screenplays a year or make five short films a year?  What the hell is the matter with me?  I’m envious of their collective ambition more than anything else.  Most of the time, I can’t even agree with myself, let alone with others, over what a creative project should look like.  Add one person to work with — maybe.  Two or more — forget it.  To me, the more outside inputs involved, the further away from my vision the final product veers.  And I’m stubborn.  How they manage to do it with so many people I’ll never know.  They must really like each other.  Yeah, that’s it.

Is their ambition worth it?  You can listen and decide for yourself.  King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard incorporate a plethora of styles and sounds in their music and there’s a freshness to it all.  It’s equal parts heavy, fun, technical, playful, loud, soft and incredibly talented.  Any band who releases five new albums in one calendar year loves to play music and that ultimately shines through.  Chances are you won’t like every single song, but I’ll bet you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.

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