hey folks, welcome to some discography reviews. i’ve been writing music reviews for some friends in a discord server for a few years now in various forms, but i figured i’d like to get them all in a more centralized space, so here we are! this first series of reviews is a review of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s discography, starting in 2011 with Willoughby’s Beach and running right into 2021 with Butterfly 3000. this review was originally written in August 2021.

Eyes Like the Sky is the 2013 KGLW release, an album expanding on the style of Sam Cherry’s Last Shot. The narration was, like with Sam Cherry, written and performed by Broderick Smith, the father of KGLW keyboardist Ambrose Kenny Smith. I have listened to this album once before – right after listening to Nonagon Infinity i joked to the friend that recommended the band to me that one of the tracks is a western track and they pointed me this way. initially, i wasn’t a huge fan but i was intrigued, let’s see how i felt on a closer listen:

as far as the pacing and overall structure goes, this album is great, largely because it’s built around the shifting mood of the narration. i like the audio quality of Smith’s voice – this feels like a campfire story or a just-in-range radio broadcast. musically, its a delight. fantastic guitar work throughout, and im not sure there was a single song i disliked for that. i wont go song by song because it just kinda all flows together for me and i dont think i could pick out a single segment that i liked or disliked more. overall though, i’m kinda mixed on this one tbh, though its probably more on what im bringing to the table than what the album is. i am also writing a western / frontier story, and though its in space its something that is deliberately calling back to this genre and this same narrative style. that genre is loaded with a lot of settler/colonial baggage, which is magnified when you make shit as a white creator. what i appreciate here, that i also appreciated in the ending of Sam Cherry and that i dont see super often, is the recognition in a piece of western media that what the white settlers were doing was real fucked up. The “adopted white man raised amongst the superior natives” bit here sits a little odd with me, but its not something i have enough perspective on to speak to at all. i will say that its appropriate for the time period (and from what ive heard of KGLW’s lyrical style) for all of KGLW’s western stuff to be just grim as shit. the effect though, is that this is 27 minutes of depression and menace, with a marginally happy ending. on the whole im really uncertain how i really feel about it thematically – i think ive thought through what i think are my issues with it and then im still uncertain – but musically i am a big fan and i think this is still a more true to reality style of making music about the American frontier than most people are doing right now.

Eyes Like the Sky – 5/10

next on the docket is Float Along – Fill Your Lungs!

support the band by buying this record on Bandcamp

first: Willoughby’s Beach | previous: 12 Bar Bruise | next: Float Along – Fill Your Lungs

all my reviews for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard