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Gongzilla - Suffer CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 34 ratings

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4 stars What have we here? Fugitives from Pierre Moerlin piloted Gong? Don't worry, this won't hurt at all. These guys have apparently never worked in any of the Daevid Allen driven Gongs, except for Benoit Moerlin. The other two core members of this group are Hansford Rowe and Bon Lozaga. Allan Holdsworth guests on four tracks (another one who's played in Gong when Allen wasn't around). Nice, though not necessary as Lozaga's style is very similar.

This is their debut album, the song Gongzilla starts things off and maybe shows why they decided to go with the name Gongzilla. There's lots of elements from Pierre Moerlin's Gong (PM'sG) but it often has some much heavier elements in it. Allan Holdsworth drops in a solo on the first track, but this one's really driven by Lozaga.

Bad Habits, mellows things out a bit. This is more in the style of PM'sG. Holdsworth plays more prominently. Sing really mellows it out, nice, peaceful, and very acoustic. Gongzilla's Dilemma borrows heavily from a piece PM'sG, Golden Dilemma from Expresso II and one other piece from that era that eludes me. Mr. Sinister Minister's very jazzy less mellow, yet still fairly laid back, still some heavy undertones. For some reason someone decided to put a siren sound in towards to the end. I was listening to that on the way into work. A little alarming until I figured out where it was coming from. Almost You is really nothing like anything on the album You. Benoit's vibe work shine, Allan's back for a tasty guitar solo.

The pace then picks back up a bit with Mezzanine, maybe a little too close to the cheesy commercial jazz rock/fusion (JRF) of the late '70's/early '80's (Benoit gets the song credit, must be his fault), still good though. Hip-Hopnosis? OK, there's no hip-hop elements here. Maybe a few funky parts and a little hypnotic playing. Sometimes song titles for instrumentals just don't come easy, I guess. Allan Qui? Allan's last guest track and his last appearance with Gongzilla to date. But as I've said before, not essential to the band, but a welcome guest. Sometimes hard to tell the Lozaga from the Holdsworth. Nice high quality JRF. Senna's a bit different and once again reminds me about what I like so much about this band, they're not afraid to experiment. A bassic song credited to Hansford. Wraps up with Camel, a much proggier piece by Benoit, unfortunately it's only 23 seconds long apparently with vocalizing by Samuel Rowe, which is tacked on at the end of that on my CD as the mysterious Track 12.

So now that Daevid Allen went back at the helm of Gong, it's really nice to have this offshoot out there that carries on much of the style that was present in PM'sG. They gave us one last album, Pentanine, in 2002 before Pierre died in 2005 unexpected causes.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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