ALBUM REVIEW: King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard ‘Eyes Like The Sky’
As a follow up to their debut record 12 Bar Bruise, KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD have released Eyes Like The Sky. Not just any old album, the sophomore is packed with a real twist.
A collaboration with Broderick Smith (The Dingoes), Eyes Like The Sky has been created as a “spaghetti Western audio book”! Stu Mackenzie of the band came up with the concept and pitched it to Smith. Agreeing to the project right away, both parties started recording soon after, as they wrote their parts simultaneously.
Smith narrates the entire 27 minute record, with KGATLW working as it’s soundtrack. The marriage between Broderick’s seriously deep voice and KGATLW’s instrumentation completely works.
Stu explained, “I love Western films. I love bad guys and I love Red Dead Redemption. Oh and I love evil guitars.”
And boy, can you tell. Their interpretation of all of these things has been executed superbly. From the get go, you’ll hear the distinct Western theme. Upon listening, I imagined the title “Eyes Like The Sky” sprawled across the screen of an old television set in large, yellow block letters; just like the opening of a classic Western film.
After digging a little further, I was quickly introduced to talk concerning enemies, rifles, cannons and horses. Going even deeper and there was emphasis on girls, death and survival.
The LP kicks off with the title track – ‘Eyes Like The Sky’. Working as a preamble to the story that is to unfold, instrumentally this is one of the stand-out tracks to go by when searching for that Western feel. Gunshots, sly guitar and some serious introductory dialogue enhance the mood that is to stick throughout the entirety of the record.
‘Year Of The Lord’ welcomes chapter one, and is much more laid back compared to the track’s majestic predecessor.
Without wanting to give too much away of the story, ‘The Raid’ mentions child soldiers, ‘Drum Run’ works as both a chant and hunt due to its rich emphasis on percussion and sound effects, ‘The God Mans Goat Lust’ evokes some sneaky guitar twangs and bends and ‘The Killing Ground’ opts for whistling and Native American sound effects, coupled with a sad guitar.
The album was intended to be heard in its entirety, as it’s produced in chapters that span over multiple tracks. Both King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard and Broderick Smith recorded the piece from home. It should also be noted that Eyes Like The Sky was narrated on a Macbook microphone. This raw, lo-fi attempt truly works with the dirty nature that the story is telling. If it were to be recorded in a cleaner manner, the entire mood that has been encapsulated just wouldn’t be the same. This is strongly proven in ‘Fort Whipple’.
A Western platter of gun shots, distorted guitars and a strong sense that those involved in the story were constantly on the run, the album – or should I say story – is available for preorder HERE.
You can hear Eyes Like The Sky in its entirety on the 22nd February.
Words by Hannah Galvin.