hello all! continuing our catch up on older discography reviews, we’re taking a look at The Silver Cord, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s October 2023 record!

i have REALLY dragged my feet on this one – i reviewed PetroDragonic Apocalypse like, RIGHT when it came out, but i gave The Silver Cord one shot and immediately set it down until now. there’s a few reasons for that, too.

firstly, im not huge on the “no definitive version” of a record that has a “short” and an “extended cut” – going in i would have expected that the extended cut contained bonus stuff, but based on how the album’s presented, released, and talked about, these are alternate but equally legitimate versions of the record. i appreciate the shorter, punchier tracks, but if they wanted to make an 88 minute record i think they should have done that, personally.

secondly, my first listen, right when the album came out, was not super positive. there are some moments in the short versions of Set, Chang’e, and Gilgamesh (and a bit of the transition into Swan Song) that are cool but i was very put off by The Silver Cord and the rest of Chang’e was less successful for me.

i do think that the tighter flow of the 28 minute cut presents a more complete, holistic package, but after having listened the the extended cut there’s a lot left on the table. the parts of tracks like Chang’e and The Silver Cord that bugged me were surrounded by larger sections of playing in the harmonic space. in these cases, the dilution of those elements across the track left a better positive impression of the song, but in a couple tracks that made them feel aimless and wandering. its an effect that i dont think is bad, necessarily, especially as this was presented as the yang to PetroDragonic Apocalypse‘s yin, and a calmer, broader, more exploratory vibe works to contrast that album’s high energy and tight focus. on that note – Gilgamesh having Gila Monster’s “Gila!” in the extended cut does a better job of presenting this as a mirror to PDA to a casual listener than anything else on the record, and its kind of shocking its not in the shorter mix.

so i dunno. i feel conflicted on this record, and i think ultimately after hearing the extended cuts its not a full miss, but i wish theyd either committed to those cuts and presented just those as the record, or found a way to tighten the focus and transitions by trimming a little off, and in either way just giving us one version.

lyrically and narratively, i think its solid but not outstanding – a record about killing gods and facing annihilation is pretty good and again, a nice parallel to the ways PDA brought about apocalypse, but its far from the strongest part of the record and is very easy to miss.

faves – Set

The Silver Cord – 5/10

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first: Willoughby’s Beach | previous: PetroDragonic Apocalypse| next: who knows!

all my reviews for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard