King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are making good on their pledge to release five albums in 2022 and have revealed specifics about the final three of the bunch, details of which were first reported here in July. Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava arrives first on Oct. 7, followed by Laminated Denim on Oct. 12 and Changes on Oct. 28, all on the Australian band’s KGLW label and arriving amid its biggest U.S. headlining shows to date.
Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava was built from all six members jamming for hours over a seven-day period, a process similar to the one that birthed the 18-minute “The Dripping Tap” from the latest Gizzard release, Omnium Gatherum. Frontman Stu MacKenzie presented seven song titles and seven different major-scale musical modes to his bandmates in advance for inspiration, but everything else was cooked up on the spot. He then pieced together seven complete songs from the jams and enlisted the other members for overdubs and lyric writing.
The album clocks in at more than 64 minutes, with no song shorter than six minutes and 41 seconds. The first single of sorts, the 10-minute earworm “Ice V,” is a genial, groovy jam cleverly disguising lyrics about an evil entity “engulfing all in crystal dismay” with a “tongue of death” (Gizzard snuck the track into a May DJ set in Zihuatanejo, Mexico; hardcore fans quickly realized it was previously unreleased).
Its accompanying Danny Cohen-directed video features group member Joey Walker frolicking from morning until sunset on the picturesque Greek island of Hydra. “I had to abandon my ego and dance in public for 12 hours in the scorching hot Greek sun,” he said in an Instagram post. “Let’s just hope that the bride and groom of the 100-person wedding I performed in front of felt like I didn’t steal too much of their limelight.”
Laminated Denim consists of two 15-minute tracks, exactly like Gizzard’s first album of 2022, Made in Timeland (both titles are anagrams of one another). The latter was intended to serve as intermission music during a series of three-hour shows in late 2020, but when those gigs were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was pivoted to a special release for a planned Australian festival last New Year’s Eve. That event was also scrapped due to COVID, so Gizzard ultimately opted to release Made in Timeland in limited-edition vinyl form in early March. No further details have yet been made available about Laminated Denim, other than that it will be available for early purchase during the band’s Oct. 10-11 shows at Red Rocks outside Denver.
Last up is Changes, which MacKenzie told SPIN has been in the works since 2017 (coincidentally, a year in which Gizzard also released five distinct albums). Each of the seven tracks is built around the same chord progression, but in typical Gizzard fashion, one would be hard-pressed to realize that on first listen. Beyond the 13-minute opener “Changes” and the seven-minute-plus “Astroturf,” the songs are much more compact than on the other two new albums.
“There isn’t a jamming vibe on it. It’s super considered, for a Gizz record,” MacKenzie said of Changes, which was set aside at the time in favor of the album Gumboot Soup. “Every overdub and every part is important. I suppose I would call it more of a song cycle. There’s something fitting about that one having taken so long to make and then wrapping the year up with it.”
Fans can expect to hear some of this treasure trove of new music on King Gizzard’s fall tour, which begins Sept. 30 at the Desert Daze festival in Lake Perris, Calif. The trek closes with the last of three non-consecutive Red Rocks shows on Nov. 2 and will be followed by three post-Christmas gigs in New Zealand on Dec. 29, Dec. 31 and Jan. 4. The group’s only other announced 2023 shows for the moment are April 6-10 at Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest. The three upcoming albums can be pre-ordered here.
Meanwhile, Gizzard members Ambrose Kenny-Smith and Cook Craig are releasing a new album, Rapscallion, with their other band The Murlocs on Sept. 16 via ATO, followed by a North American tour kicking off Oct. 29 at Austin’s Levitation festival.
Here is the track list for Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava:
“Ice V” (10:16)
“Hell’s Itch” (13:28)
“Iron Lung” (9:05)
“Gliese 710” (7:49)
Here is the track list for Laminated Denim:
“The Land Before Timeland” (15:00)
Here is the track list for Changes:
“Hate Dancin’” (3:16)
“No Body” (3:42)
“Exploding Suns” (4:41)
“Short Change” (2:51)