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Gongzilla - Suffer CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 34 ratings

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Dan Bobrowski
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a SMOKIN' fusion disc. You can and will play this over and over. It stands tall against any fusion album I've heard. Being an off-shoot of Pierre Morlien's Gong, you can expect tons of percussions and they are delivered in large doses. Vic Stevens, Lionel Cordew are seasoned New York studio musicians and they step out brightly here. Benoit Moerlin on vibes and marimba, plays the key ingredient that makes this something more than a guitar fest. The vibes take many exhilerating solos that would only be better if witnessed live. Hansford Rowe, bass man deluxe, keeps everything flowing and well grounded. Bon Lozaga, a consistent PM Gong guitarist, unfurls tight and hard edged solos throughout. Many solos will have you checking the credits because he wails in the style of the other standout on this recording: Allan Holdsworth.

Allan Holdsworth is only present on four tunes, but he makes the best of it. Some of these recordings are among my favorite AH solos of all time. Hearing Allan play over a perc heavy base is a treat. The melodies flow from his fingertips like a thick sweet syrup. Pure ear candy, tasty and addicting. "Gongzilla," the opening track is a hard edged guitar feast of blistering solos by Lozaga and Holdsworth with twisting lines so tight it's hard to tell were Bon stops and Allan starts. The imagery of Godzilla storming through Toyko fits the power of the song itself (The intro features the Icons shrill vocal blast and foot stomp). "Bad Habits" is a bit more subtle yet engaging. "Almost You" is a wonderfully sensual ballad, slow and seductive. "Allan Qui?" pretty much answers the question, who is Allan Holdsworth? Another stunning performance of fluid legato runs, slurs, hammers and pull offs, languid swells and blazing turn arounds.

The non-Holdsworth tunes still have an energy and melodicism so rare in fusion. The melodies can stick in your head and the vibes buzz long after the album ends. Bon Lozaga is exciting in his own right, a veteran improviser and soloist.

If you don't care for Allan Holdsworth's solo work, find it too complex or sterile, discover Gongzilla "Suffer" and get a more immediate, less cerebral, fusion fix.

Dan Bobrowski | 4/5 |


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