LUNEAR – Gostraks: «Not Just A Normal Cover Album» (Album Review)


«One day Seb did an acoustic rendition of “Inside” from Stiltskin. It was fun, we dit it quick and were happy with the result. Even Ray Wilson liked it…«

🔸 Hey, What The Proggers?! We don’t usually do reviews of cover albums (I think this is our first time in 8 years!). So the honor goes to French band Lunear’s upcoming third release, “Gostraks”, hitting the stores next June 1. So let’s go for it, shall we?

LUNEAR – Gostraks: «Not Just A Normal Cover Album» (Album Review)

🔸 “Gostraks” is not an album of prog covers. Only two progressive bands, Genesis and Marillion, are included, the rest being artists from different walks of life, like David Bowie, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Stiltskin or Tasmin Archer, to name some.

LUNEAR’s Line-Up Is…

  • Jean-Philippe Benadjer – guitars, bass, vocals
  • Sébastian Baurnier – drums, vocals
  • Paul – keyboards, vocals

We wanted to do something different, as if it was a real Lunear record. So we decided to connect every song, as if we were doing a conceptual album

1. Turn It On Again (Genesis)

When you listen to the song, it never gives the sensation that it’s a complicated one. On the contrary. Well, I can tell you that the succession of 3/4, 5/4, 4/4, 5/8, 6/8, 9/8 is just unbelievable and a mess to play!!! [Paul]

🔸 Well, we’re talking gold here. «Turn It On Again» is one my faves from Genesis since my teens. If you ask me, the Three Sides Live version comes first, before the studio track. Lunear’s cover is surprising right from the start (forget the famous guitar/keyboard intro!). Instead, they start off with a tasty a capella cover of the “Guide Vocal” from Duke, joined soon by a blanket of keyboard sounds. And after that… yep, what you’ve been waiting for.. the famous guitar/keys intro! Now we’re in business. Quite faithful to the original, musicianship and vocals sound pretty good and they really stand their own with this cover.

2. Modern Love (David Bowie)

I didn’t know this song before. I grew to love it. It’s such a fun song. It makes me smile every time [Seb]

🔸 This classic from the White Duke starts smooth and quiet, in a sort of Phil Collins way, instead of beginning with the popular rhythm guitar intro. I go any day with early Bowie so Let’s Dance is not an album I like, but looking back, “Modern Love” is quite a decent song. After a while, Lunear hit things running in the same pop-rocking vein of the original and the whole turns out very Bowie and Brit pop.

3. Warriors of the Wasteland (FGTH)

A big rock hit. I thought it will be fun to rearrange it in a «wasteland» point of view, very slow and barebone. With a touch of guitar like in the «Attack Mix» with Gary Moore [JP]

🔸 Not familiar with this one from Frankie Goes To Hollywood (just know the popular ones). Anyways, I always thought the best of Frankie was Holly Johnson, a singer with a superior voice. As a trivia, Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin play guitar on the original album, “Liverpool,” with Trevor Horn producing. Lunear’s cover starts with electronic drums, in the Phil Collins style, less dancing and more like a slow pop song. Reminds me of Collins but also of Fish.

4. Inside (Stiltskin)

Inside was the first song from the project, even before it was a project [Seb]

🔸 I missed these guys in the 90s, although I used to hear a lot of metal and grunge back then. First time I heard of Ray Wilson was when he became the new Genesis vocalist, so this track, «Inside» (the most popular from Stiltskin), is new to me. A top-chart hit before Wilson joined Genesis that sounds like a post-grunge song with all the bells and whistles from the genre. With a pretty good job on vocals, Lunear’s cover doesn’t wander off the road, keeping the same rage and intensity from the original, but with a cleaner sound.

5. Sleeping Satellite (Tasmin Archer)

I have a list of songs I’ve always wanted to cover. And Sleeping Satellite has always been there [Paul]

🔸 Always liked this song (though I never knew who the singer was!). Sleeping Satellite had everything to be a pop hit: a great singer, a catchy melody, and a cool rhythm. Lunear‘s keeps all the spirit from the original on this great cover.

6. Perfume (Britney Spears)

When i decided to cover one of her song, i instantly thought about «Perfume», which was not a huge hit covered too many times. I love the way we make it sounds much rockier [JP]

🔸 Well, never liked Britney Spears or Spice Girls. There, I said it! So, with that off the table, Lunear‘s cover sounds really vital and positive, with a cool vibe. And yeah, sounds absolutely rockier than the original.

7. Shake the Disease (Depeche Mode)

To fit in our music we needed to change the feeling of the song. So from synth pop we moved to a more classic rock mood based on piano and guitar [Paul]

🔸 When Depeche Mode were famous, I was mostly into rock, AOR and the like. Here Lunear‘s cover wanders off the road and is really good and different, keeping the main leitmotif from the original. Sounds like a soft-rock ballad, but with a lot of texture and drama.

8. Venice Bitch (Lana Del Rey)

I wanted a rockier and less moody approch (the original works so well that there was no point in doing the same thing) [Seb]

🔸 Didn’t know this one (not familiar with this artist) but I must say I was really surprised at how good this song was. She sings like something in-between Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega. A long track (almost 10 minutes long) with a dreamy, chill-out vibe all over it, Lunear‘s cover starts sensitive and balladic, on top of a romantic vibe. Then it goes down a darky road, rockier and more intense, with harsh guitars and sad keyboards playing against a bleaky landscape.

9. Reneé (Talk Talk)

I wanted «Renée» to be as close as possible to the original, with a lot of space and silence [JP]

🔸 I just know the Talk Talk popular ones but if I had to choose between the two, I’d go with Lunear‘s any day. On top of a minimalistic, hypnotic drumming pattern, plays a catchy, fresh leitmotif as the main drive for this delicate cover.

10. This is the 21st Century (Marillion)

What a strange Marillion song at the time. That band would then always surprise us [Seb]

🔸 I gotta say I like all Marillion albums (some better than others) up until Brave but, after that, the only one I keep coming back to is Sounds That Can’t Be Made. Though Anoraknophobia is just not my type, Lunear nails Marillion’s Hogarth spirit here on this really close-to-base cover. And as they couldn’t go away without another Easter egg, we get a cool surprise with a brief Genesis‘s Mama stint to close the album!

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