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Album Review: Butterfly 3000 by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are an indie rock band from Australia. While being around for just over a decade, they have done almost everything at this point. They have explored different genres and their greatest feat was releasing five different studio albums in 2017, which explains their massive discography. King Gizzard release their second studio album of the year and their eighteenth studio album overall, Butterfly 3000.

The first track from the album is Yours. While I haven't listened to many of their tracks, I was a bit surprised from the opening with the light and bright synth notes. Eventually a drum beat comes in with high pitched vocals, but the synths are still there and we have some other electronic features layered over it. Stu says that he wanted to write a positive album since this was created around the time he was about to become a father.

Shanghai is another track that opens up with some electronic synth notes. Again, it's a similar formula where it starts out with the synth, a drum beat comes in, and then Stu's vocals. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially since we get some more classical instrumentation later on, such as the piano and other string instrumentals. This track is basically about an experience that Stu and his band had in Shanghai when they got really drunk.

Dreams has some more bright and bubbly synths. There are some other effects thrown onto it from time to time to get it a muffled aspect, which can tie into the title and theme of the track. It's pretty simplistic in terms of lyrics. However, since it's repetitive, it gives them the opportunity to experiment with different vocal effects and instrument breaks, which is exactly what they're able to do. He basically talks about wanting to wake up in his dream, which references how this pandemic has been going on for awhile now.

Blue Morpho definitely feels like a part two of the previous track for me, especially since the synth part from the previous track smoothly moves into this one. The synth notes seem a bit shorter and more powerful compared to the previous track. I also enjoy the instrumentation that it's matched with to give it a decent groove. As the title suggests, this track is about the species of butterfly, blue morpho. The album continues on with it's butterfly imagery.

Interior People changes up the album a bit and we get rid of the synth at the beginning for a more classic piano, guitar, bass, and drum beat. The synth eventually comes in after the grand entrance, but it's more so tucked away in the back. The vocals are a bit more brighter and exciting on this one. If you dig into the title of the track, this is another pandemic track from the album. He also talks about questioning your own sanity during the pandemic.

Now we come to the longest track on the album, Catching Smoke, which clocks in over six minutes in length. We are greeted by some running electronic notes as well as an accompanying bass. The pre-chorus and chorus are the standout points of the track and where it gets really exciting. He talks about 'happiness in my pocket' which we can assume is a drug reference. I'm sure it's just a feel good track for the group, but I'm enjoying every aspect of this track from start to finish.

Next we come to 2.02 Killer Year. The electronic notes are a bit different since they start out high pitched and short. Some of the notes eventually get reverbed, but those notes eventually fade out for a more, muddy synth. We also have some decent vocals on this track which is nice for a change. Other than that, Stu talks about how Earth has these climatic or extinction events every so often, and he thinks we're in one right now.

The beginning of Black Hot Soup reminds me a little bit of On the Run by Pink Floyd with some of the airy effects and the running synth. While it's not a carbon copy, you can tell that the instrumentation is similar. That eventually cuts out for some more exciting electronic tidbits. I also love the different chords presented at the end of each chorus to give it a different feeling. As for the lyrics, he talks about how this could be the ending of the album since it's sort of zooming out more on the 'butterfly' they have painted on this album.

Ya Love opens up with some interesting electronic and drum beats. After the quick introduction, a synth starts playing some running notes, but our rock section starts to come in. This reminds me of something MGMT would drop, or possibly even STRFKR. The vocals and instrumentation just seem on point, so I can see them being an inspiration. It's very repetitive though since it repeats 'Your Love' several times during the chorus.
 
The previous track slowly melts into the last track, Butterfly 3000. This is also the shortest track on the album, just under three minutes in length. The synth from the previous track takes on a different sound, but it takes on a lighter sound. Stu had talked about this track being about his daughter and just letting her 'spread her wings and be free'. He basically talks about the world and what she is able to see out there.
 
My first full dive into King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and I was kind of surprised. I didn't expect this much synth or electronic influence, but that's what was delivered on this album. I'm not disappointed by it, and I thought it was a decent dive into a lighter side of music.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Favorite Tracks: Dreams, Blue Morpho, Catching Smoke
 
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