By Bartek Jaskulski
As we approach our second month during our surreal quarantine, we’ve come to quickly adapt to our surroundings. This includes a number of changes within the industry, whether it be grocery stores, school systems, and even our national parks. One specific industry that has taken a massive hit from this is the music industry. In times where concerts have been delayed for the foreseeable future, artists have to quickly adjust themselves on how to bring a “live experience” to their fans. While some of these artists took the approach of performing for Minecraft festivals (a completely real and surreal experience), others have taken the approach of creating movies for listeners to enjoy in the comfort of their home, a “straight to DVD” experience per se. One prime example of this is the band “King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard”, if their brand new movie “Chunky Shrapnel”.
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard (also referred to as simply King Gizz) is a psychedelic rock band of 7 people originating from Australia. When looking up the band through a Google search, the group is labelled as a psychedelic rock band, although their last two albums from 2019 proves to show that they are anything but that in recent years. Starting off 2019 with their album “Fishing for Fishies,” the album starts off showing us what they’re capable of in the blues/boogie rock area. As it progresses, the album slowly deforms into a much darker, “synthier” style as seen in Arcanine and Cyboogie. Later on in the year, the band released a second album by the name of “Infest the Rats’ Nest”, which comes off of a completely different spectrum of what “Fishing for Fishies” was. Bringing on the genres of thrash and metal, the group manages to bring a cohesive look on their take of the heavy genres. This brings us to “Chunky Shrapnel”, a movie showcasing the band through their tour of Europe in 2019.
“Chunky Shrapnel” was originally to be shown in select cinemas throughout the globe, but due to the pandemic they took on a different approach. Starting on April 17th at 6 PM, the band released the movie on Vimeo exclusively for only 24 hours, making this seem much more like a grand premiere. The film is a prime way to experience the thrill of attending a King Gizz concert and it could not have come at a better time. In addition to this, a live album will be released on April 24, showcasing many of the songs performed throughout the film as well as adding on songs that have not been heard before.
Not only was it fan-fulfilling to watch this film concert, but it was also pleasurable to see that the whole piece was recorded on Kodak film and it shows. The raw nature of film could be seen greatly throughout the movie, especially within the shots of the band performing throughout pieces such as “Murder of The Universe” and “Planet B”. The colors especially tend to stand out during these times, giving a warm, fuzzy feeling to the viewer as the show goes on.
Although the movie brings much to the viewer, it can also be said that there’s not much that you can experience if you have already. Coming from a person that has seen them live at Franklin Music Hall this past August, the movie reminisces of those times. The film starts us off with the killer entrance of the song “Self-Immolate”, reliving it the same way back in August. “Murder of The Universe” was also a outstanding thriller within the film, as well as Ambrose’s dive into “Let Me Mend The Past”. These two were also songs that very well stood out to me back at the Franklin Music Hall, but I am in no way complaining to relive it once more.
Chunky Shrapnel was coincidentally brought to us in a time where we have to stay put and make radical changes to even our ways of enjoying ourselves, such as seeing live shows once again. This fills parts of the gap for us, letting us experience a truly blunt, gritty King Gizzard concert. Fans will find themselves indulging in many aspects of the film that they greatly favor, whereas bringing a great experience to people beginning to sink their toes into the world that is King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.
Chunky Shrapnel comes out digitally on April 24th. It will also be out on vinyl on May 18th.