This new release is one of my most recent favorites to hit the shelves. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard has partnered with Mild High Club to create “Sketches with Brunswick East.” This could be considered one of King Gizzard’s tamer albums. This is King Gizzard’s fourth release this year, and eleventh studio album. As an up-and-coming indie band, the group has been riding the wave of popularity following the festival season this past summer. Even though this is the fourth album released in a year, this one has the most unique feel.
The album opens with “Sketches of Brunswick East I,” a mellow opening that reflects an influence from Mild High Club and sets the overall tone. The structure flows like that of 1960s lounge music with influences such as bossa nova and modern electronica. It has more of a downtempo speed and is hyper-focused on evoking retro-space-age culture.
Much like the lounge music of the past, this album tries to elicit feelings of being within a place. The album focuses on more tranquil themes such as the jungle and outer space. This can be reflected in the song, “The Spider and Me,” which includes sound of birds and a waterfall. The instrumental arrangement is very similar to what can be found in jazz but also reflects elements from rock and roll, such as the electric guitar and organ.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s unusual chaotic demeanor is softened by that of the Mild High Club but is something that both fans can enjoy. The combination of the two bands’ styles has a hybrid-like quality reflecting aspects of their unique capabilities. The whole album has sort of an organized chaos vibe that is all held together by the unity of King Gizzard and the Mile High Club.
The title of this album refers to the album “Sketches of Spain,” released by Miles Davis and Gil Evans. A notable collaboration between two other masterminded musicians, a combination of orchestral jazz, classical and flamenco. Even though this album reflects some of those aspects, it does not try to replicate them, as that would be an almost impossible comparison.
Mild High Club offers some challenge to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard by adding some restraint, using fewer recourses and creating more complex arrangements and variety. However, King Gizzard manages to stay afloat by experimenting with different genres, which is why their albums always seem to have a wide-eyed freshness about them.