Almost a decade old now, the Gongzilla branch of the Gong family tree furthers the musical journey it began with Suffer – a record that was considered one of the best prog-rock/jazz fusion albums of 1995 – and continued with 1996's jam-friendly Thrive. East Village Sessions is a relatively laid-back affair, with plenty of pretty vibraphones, classy guitars, off-tempo percussion, musical breathing room, and all-analog attitude.
Gongzilla's press-play-and-record approach includes no programming, no synths, no sequencing, no sampling and no digital editing. The result is a sonically warm album that dandily suits these eight songs. Indeed, East Village Sessions was recorded at Manhattan's Dangerous Studios, hailed as "a church of analog" by the album's producer, Bonford Raga.
Both as a quintet and with fretless guitarist David Fiuczynski providing guest grooves on "The News," Gongzilla maintains a safe distance from the goofiness of Gong without extinguishing the flame that band lit.