The Big Vibe: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Changes

Changes is the incredible, complex and majestic 23rd album by prolific Australian rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

Changes is one thousand percent, a King Gizzard discography must listen. A rough, yet deeply considered concept album, based upon how far the band could take "a single idea; the chord+key change from D major to F# major" — Changes is the 23rd studio album from Australian rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

To know King Gizzard as a band is to know their ability to produce albums and bodies of work that are not to be taken just lying down.

Since 2015, they have released critically acclaimed works such as Nonagon Infinity, which focused on "nine interconnected tracks that form an infinite loop"; and an essential listen for any alternative rock aficionados out there. (2016)

Flying Microtonal Banana, an "experiment in microtonality" and just a great King Gizzard album worth listening to. (2017)

Fishing for Fishies, a gorgeous album defined by band frontman Stu McKenzie as "a blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing". (2019)

Their prolific nature to release albums in rapid succession has been essential to King Gizzard's creative growth, ever since their inception. In 2022 alone, they have released no less than 5 studio albums, including their first double album Omnium Gatherium, but today we are here to talk about Changes.

The 7-track collection of good and honest bangers starts itself off with the 13-minute-long magnum opus of the album, Change. It is astounding that Stu McKenzie and the good people that make up King Gizzard are always able to make breathtaking music that surprises and delights; because honestly, what a way to open the album.

Key changes, tempo changes, jazz fusion – it's all here over at Changes HQ. The fact that Change is the first song within King Gizzard's vast and prolific discography to feature "lead vocals from every main vocalist of the band"; will be an undying testament in the future to the things that make King Gizzard a band worth loving and appreciating deeply.

But after Change, we have the bonafide hit of the album – Hate Dancin'; – a funky-as-hell song that people should absolutely be voting for, come Triple J's next Hottest 100, and Astroturf, a 7-minute song that is so unbelievably vibey that it belongs on some sort of summer camping playlist. Dancing around a campfire, on a nice, semi-cool summer night, while you're surrounded by your friends, having a couple of beers, and talking about everything and anything — that is essentially the vibe of Changes.

Then we head into the middle of Changes, and King Gizzard has decided to drop the gorgeous No Body so delicately between the tracklisting. It reminds me of The Search by Polish-Australian composer Cezary Skubiszewski. In the movie, The Search is positioned over vast and open spaces as Red Dog looks for his deceased owner and you can feel the great vastness and the openness of No Body, throughout the track.

King Gizzard are renowned for their high-voltage, high-energy live shows; and an uptempo song like Gondii will fit quite spectacularly in any energetic live show of theirs. Exploding Suns expands on that same vastness that Change and No Body introduced into the soundscape of this album, but with such beauty and restraint – it's really tough to find much, if any fault with any track on Changes.

Changes closes with the two-and-a-half-minute Short Change, and it's the culmination of everything that makes this album such a worthwhile listen. The sonic themes of vastness and openness; alongside the musical traits of the more upbeat funkier tracks such as Hate Dancin' and Gondii make Short Change, a worthy closing track for such a beautiful collection of songs.

Changes is really a cheeky little devil in the details. The first letter of each track name on Changes amalgamates into the word....well, C.H.A.N.G.E.S. The concept behind the album, simple as it may be, was to explore one single idea; which was a tempo + key change (D major to F# major) and major is absolutely a word that will be used to describe this glorious album.

The beauty of Changes, however, is that it is a typical King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard album in the sense that it demands an open mind and your full attention. Because the thing is, that, with multiple listens of any King Gizzard record, you will discover little things happening in-between the lines and little bits of sonic art you hadn't noticed before.

King Gizzard isn't in the field of making mediocre albums for the sake of street cred – they make records of beauty, of majesty, of great vastness that demand to be heard, explored and loved. Changes is no exception.

Changes is out now.