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Album of the Month

Album: Paper Maché Dream Balloon
Artist: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Release Date: Nov 13, 2015
Label: ATO

As appeared in the NDSU Spectrum

Review by Izzy Krum

"I always wanted to be a band where you would expect the unexpected each time, with each album treated like a different phase.", states King Gizzard's frontman Stu Mackenzie. He must be proud of the band's accomplishemnts then, becuase Paper Maché Dream Ballon is just that: A phase in the band's ever-evolving musical aesthetic.

With the band's birth in 2010, listeners were drawn in with a mischevious garage rock vibe that evolved into the 60s psych sound of Quarters! and more recently the blues - infused Oddments from last year. After this relase, KGATLW seemed to be headed for darker, heavier waters, but per Mackenzie's wishes they took a sharp turn in the opposite direction.

It must be noted that Paper Maché Dream Balloon was recorded with only acoustic instruments, some of which the band had never payed before, including double bass, clarinet, and cello. This was also a very collaborative album, being the first relase from KGATLW that does not have an overarching theme tying everything together, but this fact somehow makes the sound more comprehensive. This, combined with the choice of instuments, creates a pastoral portrait of psychedelia that makes the listener wasnt to run a away with Ringo Starr and join a commune in some far off corner of the U.S. (of course I mean that in the most positive sense possible).

Most of the songs were written separately by members of the band and brought together to form Paper Maché Dream Balloon This just speaks to the level of personal and musical connection that the members of KGATLW have to each other. The album's title track, "Paper Maché Dream Balloon" paints a vivid picture of love and harmony that has become so essential in the psychedelic genre. This is contrasted by songs like " The Biitter Boogie" and "Bone" that draw from late '60s influences like The Kinks. This contrast and variability sums so much of what KGATLW represents at their core: The notion that a few people with a few things in common can create something awesome.

 Recommended Tracks: "Paper Maché Dream Balloon, "The Bitter Boogie", "Trapdoor", "Sense"