ALBUM: Nonagon Infinity by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
RELEASE YEAR: 2016
LABEL: Flightless Records
BEST TRACKS: “Gamma Knife”, “Invisible Face”, “Wah Wah”
A perpetual motion machine is one that could, hypothetically, do work indefinitely without an energy source. According to the laws of thermodynamics, such a machine is physically impossible; however, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have no interest in following the rules.
With nine tracks that transition seamlessly into each other, the sextet from Australia have created the world’s first “infinitely looping album”. Though “Robot Stop” and “Road Train” could be considered bookends of the album, Nonagon Infinity has no definitive start nor end point. Instead, Stu and the crew present us with a prog/psych rock epic that is more like a never-ending jam session than a traditional LP. In that 40 minutes, the band explores dizzying tempo changes, atypical time signatures, and even microtonality.
Though Nonagon Infinity is best experienced in its entirety, its individual tracks can still be enjoyed on their own. “Robot Stop” introduces the refrain of “Nonagon Infinity opens the door” that repeats throughout the album, and “Road Train” serves as an on-ramp of sorts to restart it. Other highlights include “Gamma Knife”, a blistering affair in 3/4 time, and “Invisible Face”, which offers a brief reprieve from Nonagon’s auditory onslaught with its jazz sensibilities. My favorite track is “Wah Wah”, which puts a Gizzard spin on 5/4 time.
Nonagon Infinity is an album that quite literally doesn’t know when to quit. It’s 40-minute runtime is merely a suggestion as its nine tracks loop into each other to form a perfect nonagon. Even if you aren’t a fan of rock music, this one is definitely worth checking out!