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Gongzilla - Thrive CD (album) cover

THRIVE

Gongzilla

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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5 stars Another excellent release from a driving force in the prog-rock/fusion scene. The title cut launches the album -- sets the tone as groovin', extraordinary, masterful. Even friends of mine that were used to "normal" rock sounds (Stones, Floyd, etc.) were mesmerized by the deep rhythms, the street-wise give and take between all instruments. Some friends that were not jazz afficionados walked in at the beginning of "Suffer", and could not tear themselves away for their first beer until the track had ended 8 minutes later. They kept asking me who it was... that it sounded kind of like Krimson... Though the truth is, it only sounds like Gongzilla. There's only one place to get it.
Report this review (#52085)
Posted Monday, October 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Poor man's Gong? Well, it appears that this band is attempting to re-create the feel of early 80's Pierre Moerlen's Gong, but somehow they miss the boat. Big time and it only shows that nothing beats the real article. The album starts out rather promising, but by the 2nd tune it deteriorates into some "White Funk" singing that concludes in mindless screaming. Why, oh why? .

Strangely, most performers have been contributors to the Golden Years of Gong, but without Pierre Moerlen they seem to be lost on their own. Gary Husband, an otherwise excellent and well-respected drummer was brought in, but he gets little chance to do more than massaging his skins as in the compositions there is not much to actually play to.

Yes, you guessed it, the bulk of what's on offer here is absolutely lustless and boring and apart from a few disturbing moments, it's more suited to put you to sleep than captivating any attention.

Most surprising is that Pierre's brother Benoit Moerlen is featured here, but only gets to play a few notes on this recording. Hard to fathom, but when the music is not there in the first place, how could one add to that void?

The driving force appears to be Hansford Rowe (bass) who - when not snoozing - plays creamy, funky lines that do not really offend. Bon Lozaga (guitar) on the other hand is trying to sound like Holdsworth, unfortunately sadly devoid of real substance.

"Thrive" is a surprising title to this album. Hearing this work, my veggies would go into voluntary and indefinite hybernation. Largely reasonable work that a novice to the genre may find amusing, but in comparison, it's on the weak side. Some tracks of this album may be good enough to hold onto as part of a Gongzilla compilation.

Rating 3.5, rounded down as I can't see how this album may grow on me in future.

Report this review (#1153621)
Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Review Permalink

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