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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gong

I See You

Review by Gary Hill

Gong covers a lot of musical territory here. Sometimes, they cover a lot in one song. Space rock, fusion and more are the main features of this album. It’s a great album with a lot of variety, really. It never seems tired or redundant. It does a good job of playing at the edges between quirky and accessible. Whatever you call it, I like it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I See You

Jazz, progressive rock and a lot more connect on this cool jam. It’s strange, but also very compelling. There are some weird sections and changes, but it works well.

Occupy
Frantic jazz prog is the order of business here. It’s like King Crimson mixed with Rock In Opposition and fusion. Various sections emerge work through and end. There are some mellower sections, but overall this is a real screamer. One of those mellower sections makes me think of Pink Floyd a bit.
When God Shakes Hands with the Devil
The bass leads things off here. Space rock merges with a cool jazz groove on this mellower piece. It’s one of my favorites here. The vocals remind me of Hawkwind’s Dave Brock. It does rock out as it builds, but it’s still more melodic and less furious than the previous piece. It’s also more mainstream.
The Eternal Wheel Spins
Now, this one really does make me think quite a bit of Hawkwind. The weirder jam later, though, isn’t Hawkwind like at all. It is tasty, though. Other sections seem to combine those two musical concepts and expand on them. Still, overall this is a fast paced space rock jam that’s very cool. It’s another highlight of the set.
Syllabub
A weird and rather creepy section starts this. It works to a killer jazzy jam from there, though. It’s another highlight of the disc.
This Revolution
Something that sounds like whale song opens this. The musical atmosphere continues as a voice speaks the lyrics over the top. This is spacey, weird and empowering. It’s also compelling.
You See Me
In a lot of ways this reminds me of a space rock version of the crazed side of King Crimson. It’s a really bizarre, but somehow effective piece that spins this way and that. It’s a fairly short instrumental, too.
Zion My T shirt
It sounds like there is a children’s choir on the opening of this. That section runs through and it moves out to a rock ballad kind of sound with some definite space rock elements. This definitely has a bit of a Hawkwind vibe to it, but with more jazzy prog, too. It’s fairly mellow. I love the monologue later in the track.
Pixielation
There is sort of a bouncy kind of jazz jam that opens this. A fast paced and off-kilter section comes in after the first set of vocals. Then it shifts to atmospheric space music from there. There’s a return to the earlier sections from there. This is piece is very weird. It’s also very cool.
A Brew of Special Tea

Weird trippy atmospherics are combined with bits of processed spoken vocals. It’s more like sound bites than it is lyrics, though. This is a short piece.

Thank You
A hard rocking bluesy, tune, this is great stuff. I’m again reminded of both King Crimson and Hawkwind a bit, for different reasons. After the song proper it moves out into an instrumental section that’s a lot more pure progressive rock, but with some definite fusion in the mix. When the vocals return this is more of a space rock jam.
Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin
Atmospheric space and world music elements seem to merge as this starts. That sort of sound is the basic concept here, with an emphasis on weird space sounds. It’s a mellow instrumental that lasts over nine minutes. It’s also great stuff.

 

 
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