King Gizzard Rides Again: Infest The Rat’s Nest Review


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Travis Flippo, Critic

The Gizz have returned with their second album of this year, their thrash exodus of Infest The Rat’s Nest. The newest taste of the Australian garage rockers gives a refreshing spoonful of chugging, athletic songs with seasonings of their usual fuzz rock overtones thrown into the mix. The band has expressed interest in heavy metal tones on previous albums such as Nonagon Infinity and I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, however this effort is the most concentrated ball of thrash the band has produced since their inception.

The sound is uniquely Gizzard, as per usual, and the band takes influences from heavy metal acts like the ancient Motörhead and the modern Rammstein and mixes their own ideas of heavy, like on the tracks “Organ Farmer” and “Self-Immolate”. The track progression ebbs and flows in and out of sluggish, demonic Sabbath-esque riffage, and speed-focused headbanging with lots of dual bass drumming to spare. Most of the songs are authored by the band’s leader, Stu Mackenzie, who goes to the most visceral and cathartic ends he must meet to produce, write, and play on this entire record. The thematic unity of the album was particularly alluring to me, as this is one of few heavy metal albums with an environmentalist message. The theme is explored throughout the first half and paints an image of a smoggy scorched Earth with nowhere else to go while those of wealth high-tail it to Mars. How potent and topical Stu, I must commend you.

This album, in context of the past Gizzard efforts, is an unusual turn, however not unexpected for the psych-garage rockers of the day. I have learned when it comes to the Lizard Wizard, their signature Mayhem from Melbourne is deeply present in every single album they can concoct. Rat’s Nest is all the heavy metal goodness of thrash, with the fuzz, feedback and delay effects of all the best psychedelia from the 21st century.

My overall rating is rather positive, but I cannot attribute a number rating. I feel the album comparison method is far more effective in giving a feel to the album. The Gizzard have been described as psychedelic rock, progressive rock, acid rock, garage rock, and indie rock, but their newest effort is something fresh and different.

So, I say Infest The Rat’s Nest is Bringing It All Back Home smack between Another Side Of Bob Dylan and Highway 61 Revisited. I say this because, just as Dylan goes electric and gives in to his contemporaries who were up to the same thing, The Gizzard gives in to their very apparent heavy metal influences in order to craft something very special turned all the way to eleven. Especially the lead single “Planet B” compares to “Subterranean Homesick Blues” in its brash opening to a rich, sardonic album. I hope that my prediction will prove correct and we can expect Gizzard’s Highway 61 any time soon, or any other supersonic, hot mess of an LP.

My favorite track: “Hell”