Track By Track: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Cormac McCarthy, Stiff Records, The Clean and footy: STU MACKENZIE nails down the peripheral influences on King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s deeply saturated first album, ‘12 Bar Bruise’.
One of the oldest tracks on the album. We played it for the first time at Meredith last year, but I think it was pretty different back then. I can’t really remember. It has a huge flange on the end of the track, which is funny.
One of the newest. It’s about being a shit kicker. A few people have said it sounds like Green Day, which is not really a good thing. Ah well.
Started out as a jam on a song by The Clean and sort of slowly evolved into something completely different.
‘12 Bar Bruise’
Recorded late at night in Anglesea with four iPhones placed around the room and me singing straight into one.
Originally recorded as a slower, groovier, ‘Twist and Shout’-y kind of song, but it was kind of boring and wrong. Paul suggested that we play the song as fast and ferociously as we could, and we ended up using that version.
‘Sam Cherry’s Last Shot’
Originally written and recorded as an instrumental. We considered syncing a chapter of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian to the song, but that was too hard. [Guest Broderick Smith of The Dingoes] is an absolute Western nut and offered to read a chapter about Sam Cherry from the 1883 novel 33 Years Among Our Wild Indians, which we included as a voiceover on the song.
‘High Hopes Low’
Recorded in two separate sessions a month apart. One was kinda hi-fi-ish, with all the instruments panned wide, and the other was really crunchy, with everything dead centre. Really different recordings. We spliced the two recordings up and now the song switches between the two. It sounds cool in headphones.
‘Cut Throat Boogie’
[Ambrose Kenny-Smith] sings ‘Cut Throat Boogie’. He got sliced in the neck accidently with a broken bottle a couple of years ago and almost died, I’m pretty sure. It was inspired by Carson’s 1972 track ‘Boogie’, which we covered at Boogie Festival this year. We mixed it in dual mono; if you listen in just one ear, it sounds really weird.
[Producer Paul Maybury of Rocket Science] is a big fan of Wreckless Eric and Stiff Records in general, so there was a lot of that playing in the studio. I think a little bit of that rubbed off on ‘Bloody Ripper’ in a weird way. In the end of the song we slowly sped the song up, with the pitch going with it. It’s kinda like a key change, but more confusing.
‘Uh Oh, I Called Mum’
Lucas [Skinner] had a little bit too much fun at Meredith last year, ended up in the medical tent wrapped in foil and called his mum. ‘Uh Oh, I Called Mum’ is about that.
‘Sea Of Trees’
Just as King Gizzard was forming, Eric [Moore] went to a Gaz Liddiard show where he talked about “the Sea of Trees” in Japan, a place where businessmen go to commit suicide. This actually ended up being our band name for a couple of our early shows and also seemed like a fitting title to this song. At the end of the recording, the tape machine runs out of tape and dramatically comes to a halt.
‘Footy Footy’ is about footy. It’s kind of serious but kind of not. I kind of love footy, but it’s kind of funny to joke about it sometimes too. Joe [Walker] ad-libbed through all his favorite footballers and the spoken-word part at the end in his best footy-boy voice. This song is the shittest song on the album, so we put it at the end.