Papier Mâché Dream Balloon by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
The prolific long-haired Australian rockers make a strong return with this rather lovely album. Marking the band’s seventh studio album, Papier Mâché Dream Balloon is all sunshine and cool blue waves, transporting you to the warmer climates of Oz. Bondi Beach is infused within the very essence of this album.
King Gizzard take their influences unashamedly from past eras, borrowing some psychedelic vibes from the 1960s and taking note of the rockabilly ways of the 50s. ‘Sense’ is the perfect launch pad for the album, easing us in with soothing jazz saxophones and a beautiful piano riff. This song is something of a mish-mash, the opening sounds rather like the opening of a predictable male singer-songwriter’s warbled appeal to some poor lass, but everything is changed by the introduction of the saxophones. The ever so slightly off-pitch harmonies add a home-made vibe that makes the track more rough around the edges than the jazz infusions would originally suggest; it’s their ability to take so many different sources of inspiration, display them all in one track and instantly update and personalise them that gives King Gizzard their appeal.
The range of instruments used on the album is not only incredibly impressive, but also rather inspiring. They make flute and bongos work together in ‘Papier Mâché’, and the end section, whatever it is, feels like a fairground on methamphetamines. The strings and harmonica work in conjunction perfectly and in the most unexpected way with the heavy bassline of ‘The Bitter Boogie’. It’s surprising, but comes off so well that you can’t help but feel a little bit gleeful on behalf of the band themselves.
It’s a trippy album that alternatively lulls you and cajoles you along: one that forms the perfect soundtrack for napping or jogging. It’s an absolute gem.