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Gong - Rejoice! I'm Dead CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.93 | 168 ratings

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4 stars The current iteration of Gong is thoroughly interesting. The band has ZERO (meaning 0, not the hero) original members since the passing of Divided Alien so it's like that philosophy question about the ship i.e., when all parts of the ship have been replaced is it still the same ship? And if not, then a person at time n + 7 years cannot be the same person they were at time n. Anyway, I am reviewing Gong not solving the longstanding mysteries of analytic philosophy, so onward.

The new Gong are definitely very Gongy. But it's very 'chap' in a much burlier way. This has lots of spacey glissness but it is much harder-edged than Gong of old, doing that modern riffy crunch-tech-prog thing like e.g. Deus Ex Machina or Guapo - the latter of whom Kavus Torabi the main man is also a member. Even 'You', the hardest old Gong, still has a lightness and whimsicality to it. This is different. No jazzy interludes here, no mercurial saxiness (saxes are here but used differently), no complex tuned perc. Shame. No space whispers either, but a lot of manly singing that does get surprisingly ethereal in places. A good grip on dynamics too, with dense sections breaking open into space, heaviness into prettiness, loud to quiet and quiet to loud, and so on. And as I say, a lot of satisfying crunch.

So it's not old Gong. And that is the point. It is lovely to think of a band being an ever changing spiritual entity that gets channelled through a revolving cast. Daevid must be up there on his cloud of tea fumes rubbing his hands in delight. I can't think of another band that has done this; but I am sure Archivers can name more than a few.

If global warming doesn't drown / fry us all before then, there could still be Gong albums in 100 years' time! They'll probably all be AIs doing alien metal cybernetic prog techno by then. I'd best get my pre-orders in, address 'Al, Gonglisnin, Spiritual Plane'.

animal_laminate_2 | 4/5 |


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