Neptune
Gong Lake


4.5
superb

Review

by Rationalist USER (50 Reviews)
January 2nd, 2010 | 13 replies | 4,558 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A bravura achievement from a worthwhile noise band that takes notable nods from pop, hip-hop, rock, post-rock, and avant-garde music.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley has stood the test of time, and shown the power of ingenuity through the perspective of a commited science student named Victor Frankenstein who wishes to create an animated creature. Creating said creature via an assortment of corpses and their stolen anatomical structure shows this ingenuity, just as Neptune and their hand-crafted instruments do. Created out of antiquated machinery, scraps of metal and plastic parts (made most notably out of circular saw blade, gas tanks, oil drums, bike parts, VCR casings, and miscellaneous scrap metals) Neptune began as a student art project by Jason Sanford (baritone guitar, electric thumb piano, electronics, small electric spring, and vocals) back in 1994. And though the early melodies were atonal due to primitive instruments, Gong Lake is proof of the progression that has taken place throughout Neptune's approximately fifteen year life span.

Rather than said atonal melodies, the band has upgraded their instruments to provide traditional rock music with an aural stylization that brings literal meaning to the term “industrial music.” Tracks like “Copper Green” continue to drone on and on, and expand on said drone with homemade electronic noises (made via electric lamellophones) that add a vivid spice to the aural mix with great resplendence and impact. This testament to their progression continues on “Grey Shallows” which allows soughs to become a new manifestation of the aforementioned testament towards aural progress. However, these soughs almost distract the listener from the true treat that is taking place, and intrude on occasion. “Black Tide” however is the opposite, and allows Sanford's vocals to shine rather than grow dull. The nebulous atmosphere that overhangs like a dismal shroud of gray allows other tracks like the seedy “Yellow River” to follow the same fate as “Black Tide” with its portentous, bouncy groove chock full of hip-hop reminisce seen primarily in the tracks ebb and flow akin to said genre. And whilst tracks like “Purple Sleep” and “Red Sea” show the band's knack for atmosphere and subtlety, the band also shows that they can play fantastic rock tracks with strings that relate to normalcy (see: “Paris Green” and “Blue Glass”). This all shows that no matter what style of music the band executes on this aural outing, they execute it to near-perfection.

Gong Lake is a steady manifestation towards what music can be: a musical thrill that is as innovative with the physical craft of the music as is the aural experimentation itself. The industrial soundscapes are as industrial as the makeshift instruments, or the sharp angles the creations make. This album is as intriguing and as spectacular as their phenomenal live shows which emphasize performance art and improvisation as much as this album emphasizes pop-sensibilities, an avant-garde approach to music, and states of noise that resemble a fugue, droning incessantly and bringing a cavalcade of lush electronics to the spotlight. Hopefully this will stand the test of time and be as praised as Frankenstein in the future, because Neptune is a musical visionary, almost never exhibiting a flaw or defect, like a diamond that has escaped its rough. In fact, that analogy is quite apposite towards Neptune's Gong Lake . The heaps of progress (and scrap metal) that has been a part of Neptune's musical career is astounding, and shows how atonal rumblings can transform into musical delight.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rationalist
January 2nd 2010



880 Comments


Fucking amazing.

TheSpirit
January 3rd 2010



17735 Comments


good review man, glad to see you're posting a new review a day (same as me). Hopefully we'll both become contributors in no time haha. anyway pos'd.

Digging: Emarosa - Versus

iranscam
January 3rd 2010



469 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review, just don't dig this as much as you. it's still great tho

Rationalist
January 3rd 2010



880 Comments


@theindomitablespirit: how many reviews must you write in order to achieve that prestige? I hear you get paid, which, in this economy, is fantastic.

@iranscam: yeah, it's definitely a grower album. I listened to it three times, and was like, "okay, this is a 3.5" and then my fifth listen in, I was blown away.

TheSpirit
January 3rd 2010



17735 Comments


I'm not sure how many reviews, i think it varies. I know you have to go through this whole process with the staff and stuff.

Rationalist
January 3rd 2010



880 Comments


Do you know what said process entails?

TheSpirit
January 3rd 2010



17735 Comments


Nah sorry, but i can suggest asking someone who is already a Contributing Reviewer

Rationalist
January 4th 2010



880 Comments


Yes, Reality indeed allows you to partake in such action. Funny, this review got pos'd but my rank and approval rating have not improved.

Rationalist
January 28th 2010



880 Comments


bump

DivinityOfPan
February 16th 2010



85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

No way in hell this is more than a 4

Rationalist
February 16th 2010



880 Comments


How so?

DivinityOfPan
February 16th 2010



85 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Because this album has just a few stand-outs ("Yellow River" and "Black Tide") and tracks like "Grey Shallows" are boring.

Rationalist
February 16th 2010



880 Comments


fair nuff



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