King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Nonagon Infinity

King Gizzard & The Lizard WizardNonagon Infinity
8
Nonagon Infinity is, in a word, bonkers. Maddening. Certifiably loopy.
 
And looping: When you've reached the end of its just-over-41-minute run, Nonagon Infinity loops seamlessly back into the first track, meaning one could ostensibly play it forever. And they might, too; with unprecedented urgency and a heaviness that King Gizzard have never quite served up before, Nonagon Infinity is no doubt an attention snagging experiment, but despite being a calculated novelty, it never feels like a gimmick.
 
Each of these nine tunes shape shift into the next with nary a break or pause. The songs peter out, taper off, leak and melt along, barely letting the listener consider what they've just heard before they're in new sonic territory. This can make it a tad difficult to pinpoint when exactly one song begins and the other ends, making identifying a favourite song frustrating. But then, Nonagon Infinity isn't meant to be taken in song by song but all at once. It's a smorgasbord of full-throttle, frantic drums, growling guitars and at-times sinister sounds. Certain musical motifs crop up now and again, but there is nothing predictable about the record. The only consistent is its seemingly endless energy.
 
Organ-lead sidestepper "Mr. Beat" — you know, the song that starts at around the 19:26 mark — is melodically the most pleasant and bright track here (feeling something like a lost B-side to King Gizzard's bucolic Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), but it quickly mutates into "Evil Death Roll," which is just as menacing as the title suggests. "Invisible Face" and "Wah Wah" run the instrumental gamut, with sci-fi synths, Tropicalia bongos, muted bass, plucked acoustic guitar and plenty of woozy wah-pedal flanging both the vocals and guitars. "Big Fig Wasp" hypnotizes with its choppy chorus and scale-descending guitar run, while the Motörhead-esque album closer (or is it?) "Road Train" chugs along, picking up speed and racing into squealer (and opener?) "Robot Stop." And then it all begins again.
 
Nonagon Infinity is a definite mind-melt (see how many times you can loop it without losing it), and impressively keeps up with its initial premise. Even the title is clever: "nonagon" is a nine-sided polygon and there are nine tunes here, while the "infinity" speaks for itself. Good on you, King Gizzard. (ATO Records)