With 16 full-length albums in just eight years, King Gizzard has built an impressive discography in a short amount of time; they’ve crafted their trade in a plethora of genres, ranging from folk to thrash metal.
In any discography with more than ten or twelve albums, there’s often some debate on what the “best album” is. But, you know what’s great about opinions on music? Mine are always right. It’s incredible how music is definitively objective; throughout my entire experience of giving opinions on music, I’ve never been wrong.
And, because I’m always right, I’m going to tell you what the best King Gizzard albums are, ranked from worst to best. After reading this, I hope you reconsider your personal ranking and completely alter it to match mine.
Note: I’ll only be counting studio projects, no live albums here. Also, I won’t be including KG because it just came out and it needs a chance to grow on me.
16 – Eyes Like the Sky (2013)
A psychedelic take on western music. It might sound like a cool idea, but, in all honesty, it didn’t really stick. There aren’t any songs from Eyes Like The Sky that stand out as highlights; it’s King Gizzard’s most looked-over album, but that might just be because they practically nail every other genre they worked in, aside from this one.
15 – Willoughby’s Beach (2011)
Grainy surf rock isn’t really anything new, and it wasn’t really anything to gawk at back in 2011 either. It’s not a bad surf album by any means, and the Australian-psych influence makes it a little more unique than others. In the grand scheme of King Gizzard’s discography, though, it pales in comparison to pretty much any other project. Every band has to start somewhere, I guess.
14 – Sketches of Brunswick East (2017)
For an album that has tracks like “Tezeta” and “The Spider & Me”, it pains me to rank this album so low in the line-up. Had the collaborative project with Mild High Club maintained the same standard of quality as “Tezeta”, Sketches of Brunswick East might’ve been one of King Gizzard’s best.
13 – Oddments (2013)
This one gave King Gizz some of their first big singles, like “Hot Wax” and “Work This Time”. It’s a strange mix between fast-paced jam sessions thrown together with quiet, lo-fi indie. The more relaxed songs on Oddments are smooth and relaxing, especially “Stressin”. Still, it gets boring at times; when you acknowledge the creativity and capability of Gizz’s music, there isn’t much happening on this album.
12 – Polygondwanaland (2017)
It’s a project that sounds exactly as the album cover looks; another Gizz album that creates a fantasy world and explores it through psychedelic sounds. Everything about this album is catchy and unique, from the funky bass lines, droning guitar, and stretched out synthesizers. It’s a project in which Gizz makes dramatic-sounding music without relying on heavy jams or shredding guitar.
11 – Flying Microtonal Banana (2017)
One of the band’s strangest projects, the microtonal tuning and influence of Turkish/foreign sounds create an album bent on squawking horns, stormy synths, and funky electric guitar. It earned the band another hit with their song “Rattlesnake”, but the better songs on this project are overlooked. “Nuclear Fusion” and “Billabong Valley” are two of the band’s catchiest songs.
10 – 12 Bar Bruise (2012)
Moving from the more surf-rock sound of Willoughby’s Beach, the band takes their first attempt at psychedelic punk on tracks like “Footy Footy” and “Elbow”. A lot of the album is admittedly filler, but it set the stage for King Gizzard to create some of the best psych-fuzz music of this decade.
9 – Fishing for Fishies (2019)
A fully successful swing at psychedelic boogie music. Every song on here is catchy in its own way; “Cyboogie” and “Plastic Boogie” are both funk-inspired earworms with a classic King Gizz twist. This album is often overlooked, but is definitely deserving of praise. “Real’s Not Real” is one of the band’s prettiest, most heartfelt songs; the piano and vocals say Billie Joel, but interspersed, fuzzy guitar says Black Sabbath.
8 – Gumboot Soup (2017)
Another fantasy-world-themed album that explores psychedelic sounds through warped guitar, grainy vocals, and atmospheric synths. “Beginner’s Luck” and “Muddy Water” are amongst my personal favorite Gizz songs.
7 – Murder of the Universe (2017)
Some of the band’s best scratchy, stretched-out guitar riffs come from Murder of the Universe; all of the “Altered Beast” songs are just as catchy as they are loud and horrifying. It’s also one of the coolest stories I’ve heard told by any album; my only complaint is some of the spoken word spliced throughout interludes and the songs themselves take away from the album at points.
6 – Float Along – Fill Your Lungs
Modern psychedelia at it’s finest. “Head On/Pill” is 16 minutes of relentless guitar jamming and “Let Me Mend the Past” is a heart-felt, crooning song bent on fuzzy vocals and charming piano. Float Along is probably their oldest-sounding project, heavily inspired by ‘60s and ‘70s psychedelic sounds.
5 – Paper Maché Dream Balloon (2015)
Packed with acoustic folk melodies, Paper Maché Dream Balloon creates an atmosphere of a woodland campfire. Clarinet, flutes, soft drums, and acoustic guitar are really the only instruments found on this project; King Gizzard does a great job in leaving their typical sound and finding some of their roots in a stripped, bare project. “Sense” is one of the band’s prettiest songs and “Trapdoor” is an absolute banger of a folk song.
4 – Nonagon Infinity (2016)
Blaring, fuzzy, and looping, Nonagon Infinity is almost like a sequel to In Your Mind Fuzz. It’s the second time King Gizzard successfully merges psych, fuzz, and punk to create an album that rivals some of the “greatest” psych-punk albums (Carrion Crawler, Fuzz). Blown-out drums and coarse, gritty guitar are all over tracks like “Road Train” and “Robot Stop”; it’s a project where fury and creativity coalesce to produce something great.
3 – Infest the Rat’s Nest (2019)
Venturing into the realm of thrash metal, King Gizzard put out their filthiest, nastiest album last year. The epic journey of Earth’s inhabitants desperately seeking a ‘Planet B’ in the midst of an apocalypse is an enthralling one from start to finish. Heavy influences of more popular sounds like Black Sabbath and Slayer are apparent; Stu and the band flawlessly take a creative spin on the genre, incorporating their own psychedelic features, warped guitars, shrill vocals. It’s the band’s storytelling at it’s finest, successfully marrying Gizz’s catchy, psychedelic strengths with the exciting, heavier qualities of metal.
2 – I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (2014)
One of the best fuzzy, psych-punk albums of all time. The entire “In Your Mind” medley is arguably King Gizzard’s most recognizable run of songs for original fans; it’s where the band proved they could absolutely shred on every instrument. As wild, loud, and grainy some parts of the album are, songs like “Hot Water” and “Slow Jam” are melodic and catchy. There isn’t a bad track on the entire project. “Am I In Heaven?” is seven minutes of explosive, in-your-face wailing on grainy guitar, ear-splitting drums, and blown-out harmonica.
1 – Quarters! (2015)
At the peak of King Gizzard’s mountainous discography is the band’s best fusion of modern psychedelia and jazz. It might be their most straightforward project aside from Paper Mache Dream Balloon, as the entire project relies almost solely on electric guitar and drums. Songs like “The River” and “God Is In The Rhythm” showcase the band’s ability to create spacy, atmospheric music that gets to the point; with each track coming in at ten minutes long, it’s impressive there isn’t a dull moment on the entire record.
Looped riffs and progressions evolve into complex and expansive jam sessions on every song here, but I think the album’s most staggering achievement is it’s thematic and conceptual beauty. In my book, “God Is In the Rhythm” is seemingly the first time King Gizzard really tried to make an emotional, heartfelt song: and they nailed it. Caught between echoing guitar and harmonious vocal performances, the band consistently ensnares me in a different manner than they might do on their other albums.
While I can appreciate hard, heavy jams or acoustic melodies, Quarters! sounds like a relaxing stroll in some fantasy world of green, rolling hills.
Editor’s Note: The Management is well aware of the controversial and scalding nature of the hot takes featured on this list. Accordingly, Robbie Baker has been sacked, discredited, disfigured, disbarred, disposed of, and otherwise eliminated. His body has been shot in a rocket to Mars, for use as the first pile of fertilizer for the Megasoya plantations of tomorrow’s plutocratic Martian elite. For posterity and transparency’s sake, and to serve as a sobering warning to any future would-be transgressors, the full article has been posted in it’s unaltered form.
Robbie Baker is .WAV’s Playlisting Director, he wrote the article. Nushi Iyer is a .WAV staff member, she created the graphic.