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Gong - Full Circle - Live 1988 CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.76 | 19 ratings

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3 stars Clear through the 1980s, Gong lived on in this second iteration, and in my opinion, still nearly as strong as the mid-70s when Pierre took up the helm! I think what kept them alive, at least looking at them here, is that they were able to continue on, adjusting style appropriately, now in the age of Guitar Fusion. And of course, from Allan Holdsworth on, guitar was a necessary function to their sound, regardless of its (secondary) priority (after percussion, obviously).

Well performed British Fusion. They did, I think, generally help really drive the genre forward (Since when/who? NUCLEUS?!--I would see them as a continuation of Ian CARR's powerful legacy). Of course, this music is highlighted by the aforementioned percussion. Pierre is an excellent drummer, his brother Benoit and Stefan Traub share the responsibility of the necessarily-Gong vibes as well as synthesizer, and lastly we have the great bass-playing of Hansford Rowe. Not familiar with the latter, but he's a tethering force on "Leave It Open" and, as mentioned on the mic, he was the songwriter for "Soli".

At worst, we get some, to me, stale and boring tracks, like with "Deep End". I think where the band is weakest is in their synthesizer choices. A tad cheesy at times, perhaps. The guitaring is good, for sure, but unlike earlier iterations of the band, there aren't too many memorable riffs or whatnot (the closer, "Xtasea", is the exception). Is what it is. And maybe with that, it should be said, it's not as great as I was anticipating (or how I made it maybe seem above).

DangHeck | 3/5 |


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