They did it. They put out 5 great albums in 2017. The weird, apocalyptic and microtonal Flying Microtonal Banana, the muddy prog of Murder Of The Universe, the laid back Sketches Of Brunswick East w/ Mild High Club, the synth filled Polygondwanaland, and now Gumboot Soup.
Gumboot Soup is technically a B-Sides album, and I say technically because unlike their last B-sides album, the tracks aren’t of a considerably lower standard than the other albums. However, when I say not considerably lower I mean there aren’t really any stand out tracks like in their full albums like Loyalty in Polygondwanaland, Altered Beast in Murder Of The Universe, Cranes, Planes and Migranes From Sketches Of Brunswick East and Melting or Rattlesnake From Flying Microtonal Banana. They feel more just like filler tracks and there aren’t any tracks that I can instantly say are game changing. There are still tracks that would fit very well in the respective albums they were going to be in. The best tracks on here are probably All is known, The wheel, I’m sleeping in and The Last Oasis.
The lack of an underlying theme also doesn’t really help the album, as the King Gizzard style is very conceptual, so without some form of cohesion, it feels very mix and match.
And while it may not be the best King Gizzard album this year, it is definitely the best B-Sides album of the year, and while a lot of the tracks may not have much staying power for me, there definitely are exceptions with the tracks that I listed as the best ones.
It’s a good album, but probably best for hardcore fans of King Gizzard. Instead if you are new to them listen to some of their other work first and if you like it come to this later.