Music

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard offers addictive sprawl at Sinclair

Cambridge, MA - 05/13/2016 - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard perform at The Sinclair on Friday night. (Ben Stas for The Boston Globe)

Ben Stas for The Boston Globe

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard performed at The Sinclair on Friday night.

Signs posted on all the entrances at Cambridge nightclub the Sinclair on Friday night left no room for misinterpretation: “No moshing / No crowdsurfing.” Two thoughts came to mind. One: Faced with the prospect of a sold-out concert by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, a trippy, eclectic psychedelic-rock septet from Melbourne, were pastimes more closely associated with punk and metal shows really a concern?

And two, did sight of such signs amount to provocation, if not an invitation? The question seemed fair when the crowd erupted into a swirl of heaving bodies the moment the band took the stage and snapped smartly into “Robot Stop,” the opening track from “Nonagon Infinity,” its newly released eighth LP.

Advertisement

The album — an instantly addictive mix of gangly garage-rock spirit with airtight krautrock rhythms, florid prog time signatures, and the odd flute solo, delivered at punk’s buzzy pace — has a swell gimmick: Its nine songs run together seamlessly, the end of the last flowing back into the first. It’s a trick more efficiently deployed in digital formats than their analog counterparts, but it works either way.

Live, you had to wonder just how far King Gizzard would pursue the gag; the answer was, just so far. “Robot Stop” melted into “Big Fig Wasp” and the LP’s first two singles, “Gamma Knife” and “People-Vultures,” an ecstatic whoosh of three interlocking guitars, throbbing bass, two locked-in drummers, and keyboardist-singer Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s fuzzy blurts of harmonica, punctuated with the occasional “yep” or “woo” from principal singer Stu Mackenzie.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The band illustrated its range in a generous stroll through its surprisingly packed canon: “Trapdoor,” baroque and conspiratorial, from 2015 album “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon”; the Hawkwind-esque four-song medley that opened 2014’s “I’m in Your Mind Fuzz”; jazzy sprawl “The River” from another 2015 LP, “Quarters!”

Coming after that sequence, two more new tracks — “Evil Death Roll” and “Invisible Face” — showed that despite its loose, loopy bearing, King Gizzard has honed its attack and clarified its style. Its sounds might be borrowed from any number of well-worn LPs extracted from residue-sticky gatefold sleeves, but its synthesis is fresh, and audience response testified to its potency. Disappointingly, buggy equipment let the air out of the final number, 2013’s anthemic “Head On/Pill.”

Playing in support, Melbourne quintet the Murlocs offered a more primal strain of trebly garage-rock, Kenny-Smith as frontman conjuring a young, feral Jagger in the set’s best moments. New Hampshire singer-guitarist Doug Tuttle opened with a trio in a brief but strong set saturated with blissful vocal harmonies, penetrating guitar solos, and reedy fuzz bass.

Advertisement

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

With the Murlocs and Doug Tuttle. At the Sinclair, May 13

Steve Smith can be reached at steven.smith@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @nightafternight.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com