Over a ten-year span spent releasing an album every few weeks (or so it seemed) King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard never repeated themselves, always pushing forward and trying new things whether it was lengthy jazz excursions, gloom-and-doom synth prog, or thundering thrash metal. That changed some on 2020's K.G., where the band revisit the approach used on Flying Microtonal Banana, the group's 2017 album built around the avant-garde sounds of their custom-made guitars and altered instruments. Stuck in their various homes during the global pandemic, the band gravitated toward the unique instruments and built a batch of songs using their non-Western tunings and tones. Unlike that album, though, where that almost felt like a (mostly successful) gimmick, this time the guitars are more fully integrated into the songs. "Automation" and "Some of Us" kick and twist like classic King Gizzard-style psychedelic rockers, the acoustic guitars of "Straws in the Winds" have a snarling bite that matches the evil sneer of the vocals and sentiment of the lyrics, "Oddlife"'s guitar solos are pure prog, and "The Hungry Wolf of Fate" revisits the blown-out metal attack of their most recent studio LP with a nice mix of restraint and explosive power. Even though much of the record transverses familiar sonic territory, the band still find some room for surprises. The acid house synths percolating behind the wall of guitars on "Minimum Brain Size" are a nice touch; the group work up a sweaty groove on "Ontolgy" and in the process sound something like Talking Heads butting heads with Kid Creole & the Coconuts; and in the album's only real shocker, they drop some bubbly Madchester grooves on "Intrasport." The sound is so slinky and giddily elastic, it makes one wonder what a full album of King Gizzard songs made for dancing would be like. Judging from this, and the band's track record, probably pretty great. Apart from this one song, King Gizzard don't break much new ground on K.G., and while that in itself might be something of a letdown, the result is still quite pleasing. Listening to them tread a little bit of water is still better than listening to the fresh ideas of 99.9 percent of other groups, especially when it's done with the energy and passion the band exhibit here.