The psych rock well is running dry at this point so there's only a limited amount of names albums in the genre can have: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have opted to just add the word "fuzz" to the end of any sentence -- their newest effort, I'm In Your Mind Fuzz', might cause a squiggly green line in Microsoft Word, but is actually another joyous excursion into distortion and cosmic envelopments, made out of wah pedals, obscured vocals and trusty riffs that circle back through songs proudly. King Gizzard continue to make extra worlds to step into. Fuzz.
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With one of the laziest but also most apt affixes of all time, ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ acts as a sort of psych rock primer, an archetypical record of spiralling riffs, hazy production and distant pounding drums that coalesces in the genre’s spooky headquarters. It feels like a Dummies’ Guide, in one sense, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard taking riffs and songs from elsewhere to indicate how they can be changed forever when they take the trip down to the cosmic underworld -- two tracks in, the band steal the “Streets of Cairo” melody and drench it in that Wytches style guitar pedal tonic, and it sounds like they wrote the riff all along.
King Gizzard aren’t ones for bold gestures and striking changes in sound -- though the harmonica that seems to bleed into these tracks makes them sound a bit like the Men gone drunk with power and cowpunk -- but ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ does feel like their proudest moment, the one where they’re happy to hold their hands up and admit they’re just a bunch of psychedelic hippies. Each smack of reverb feels like a victory lap, and each totally tripped out vocal sounds happy where it is: on the periphery. What this record does best is blur the lines, each song propelled forward by focused rhythms but shaking around the edges like a camera held by a stoned idiot. It makes a pretty great home video.
‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ feels like a constantly developing journey, rather than a collection of homogenous psych songs. “Empty” shines with clear, confrontational melodies that recall the storytelling of the Chemical Brothers “Golden Path” if it were made with guitar fury, and its juxtaposition of bright, almost pastoral verses with psych breakdowns sounds, if only for a moment, like a breakthrough for this stagnating genre: it’s a surprise where none seemed possible. That’s to King Gizzard’s credit, considering they’re making a self-confessed traditional psych record; even among the haze, they can bring out songs with leftfield grooves, such as the secretive guitar jam “Hot Water”, which floats along a quick tempo with a deathly quiet hum.
‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ proves, in spite of its terrible title, that you can be creative in a world where everyone’s doing the same fucking thing, and that you don’t have to sacrifice your love of the cliches in the process.
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