Gong has had a long stored history with many different variations of the band. Of course there’s the Daevid Allen classic Gong but there’s been Mother Gong, Planet Gong (now known as Here & Now) and Pierre Moerlen’s Gong. Now with the passing of Allen, “The Universe Also Collapses” is the second Gong album without him…or any member from the classic lineup(s). Does it really matter though?
“Rejoice! I’m Dead!” was a stunning album which I was ill prepared for. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. Honestly, the name of the band didn’t matter. It was great music! And the same can definitely be said for “The Universe Also Collapses.” It is just as incredible as the previous album and might very well be even better!
“The Universe Also Collapses” has 4 songs. The 20 minute psychedelic freak out “Forever Reocurring” start things off in jaw dropping fashion. There is a bit of a krautrock opening to it before things go full on prog in your face. “If Never I’m and Ever You” is the other end of the spectrum at two and half minutes. Yet Gong gets more done in that period of time than most prog bands do in 10 minutes.
“My Sawtooth Wake” is another big track. Amazing playing and Ian East is an absolute star on sax. The album closes with yet another great song, “The Elemental.” The playing on this is just flawless. That’s why THIS Gong is one of the best prog bands around today. Are they Gong? I don’t care what they call themselves because they are awesome. Should they be honored to be considered Gong? Gong fans are lucky to have these guys calling themselves Gong.
“The Universe Also Collapses” is a masterpiece. There are plenty of times I audibly said “wow!” What’s in a name? Well I guess that’s up to you. This is Gong. And no other Gong lineup could have achieved this album. I am not saying they are the best version of Gong. They are the version of Gong we need. We are lucky to have them and “The Universe Also Collapses.”
1. Forever Reoccuring
2. If Never I’m Ever You
3. My Sawtooth Wake
4. The Elemental
Release Date: May 10, 2019