Dunedin psych/surf-rock quartet Koizilla have never been a band known to keep things simple. Their debut 2016 effort, ‘Blunder Brother’, set out their stall as an act capable of flitting from moments of spacey distortion to brooding contemplation. In that respect, then, ‘Lazy Hazy’ is no different.
Loved for their expansive and agitated take on surf-rock, tracks such as Take Me To The Shop? and My Name Is Stan are almost anxious in their jittery performances. Pulling on awkward psych acts such as Ariel Pink and, most obviously, fellow antipodeans King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the restlessness to their song progressions is often as dizzying as it is enthralling.
Bell Original is another track that successfully juggles this dichotomy, an instrumental that adds an encompassing dose of post-rock to keep things fresh and unpredictable.
Essential to tapering the urgency to ‘Lazy Hazy’, however, is the character and humour that features from front to back. The endearing and self-explanatory Interlude: Connor Says Hi is a welcome break halfway through, working so well because it doesn’t feel in the least bit contrived. 4am employs slightly more nervy kind of humour, as the band lament about the anxieties of being awake during the early hours put to some of the brightest instrumentation on the record. Koizilla never try to hide such anxieties, but opt to front it with a style of music and character that, by and large, works a charm.
The solo single preceding ‘Lazy Hazy’, Welcome To My House, is the only moment where Koizilla signalled a slight step in a new, more anthemic direction. Opening with one of their most notable riffs to date, despite its cleaner, noodly guitar segments it seemed to nod towards a slightly grander aesthetic by the act. This is a rare, and admittedly minimal, departure by Koizilla from the sound that’s indebted them to fans so far, and the rest of the record proves them right for not straying too far.
Closer Lazy Hazy Dazy is the only moment where the band take their foot off of the gas, leaving their fidgety instrumentation behind and opting for a slow, and far less interesting, sound. It’s a shame, as ‘Lazy Hazy’ is otherwise a record to be admired for its fusing of humour and tight, extended performances. Whether employing the post-rock of acts like You Slut! or the psych-rock of those mentioned above, they are generally effective in presenting a sound often enthralling in its unpredictability. A sound that, although seemingly second nature to the band by now, is no less commendable in its breadth of ideas.