Exposé Online banner

Gongzilla — Live
(LoLo 016-2, 2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01

Live Cover art

Musically, Gongzilla is the branch of the Gong family tree which favors instrumental fusion with heavy guitar and vibraphone. Historically, Gongzilla is the descendent of Pierre Merlin’s Gong from Time Is the Key. The core of the band is bassist Hansford Rowe, vibist Benoît Moerlin, and guitarist Bon Lozaga; for this live show in Québec City on 28 June 1998, the trio were augmented by drummer Vic Stevens and second guitarist David Fiuczynski. The general idea to Gongzilla is a tight rhythm laid down by Rowe and Stevens, wild leads from the two guitarists, and accents from the vibes. When a band features two players like Lozaga and Fiuczynski, you can only try to remember not to drool – I just wish I could tell the two apart, but I’m not familiar enough with the individual styles to identify them. Sounds vary from fluid Holdsworth-like melodies to Belew-like noises to DiMeola-like speed-picking, all sounding original rather than derivative. Moerlin gets a few moments to shine in the midst of all the six-string pyrotechnics, and perhaps it is his presence that saves the whole thing from coming off as overkill. As it is, I enjoy Gongzilla immensely. It’s a joy to hear such proficient musicians show off their chops without being overwhelmed by egotistic wankery. They’re obviously having a great time playing, and that feeling comes through manifestly. This is easily one of the top fusion releases in recent memory.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 24, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Gongzilla, David Fiuczynski, Bon Lozaga

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Germinale - Germinale – One of the better of the new Italian progressive bands, their eponymous debut just escaped the second part of our "New Italian Progressive Rock Scene" overview back in issue #4. So with the...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues