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Half Past Four - Good Things CD (album) cover

GOOD THINGS

Half Past Four

 

Eclectic Prog

3.76 | 66 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Canadian prog rockers Half Past Four have an excellent album with "Good Things" and its clever take on the band name in the album artwork. There are some wonderful musical treats on offer and high quality vocals from Kyree Vibrant. Scattered throughout are great compositions such as 'All Day And All Night' cruises along eloquently with some fabulous melodic vocals and solid guitars and keys. 'Rise' is a rocking track with an exceptional instrumental break featuring heavy duty guitars and even a spy theme sound thrown in for good measure. The drums break out and there is a glorious keyboard sound vibrating along a pulsing bassline.

'It Strikes You' and 'Good Things' prepare the listener for more complexity and jazz nuances to come, but they are decent songs that open the album on a dynamic note, though the album really takes off mid way through. Classic prog influences abound; 'Landmines' is sprinkled with King Crimson rhythms on guitar sounding very much like Fripp's style; and 'Cool Water' has a heavy guitar riff like Atomic Rooster or Uriah Heep, and then there are Pink Floyd style nuances in the verses and harmonies. There may even be Rush influences as they are Canadian of course, notably the lead breaks may be influenced by Alex Lifeson's style. This track even has a string section enhancing the sound.

'Spin The Girl' is an oddity with weird time sig changes and a speeded up cabaret feel. The piano freakout and hyper jazz works well to make this stand out. The crazy synth solo is followed by a fret melting lead guitar workout. 'Fate' opens with grandiose piano tinkling and a hypnotic guitar motif, before settling into broken time sig and quietened vocals. Vibrant gives it her all here and the piano is a constant presence with jazz tendencies and complex tempo shifts.

'I Am Lion' has more Frippian touches from Necrasov and there is a great keyboard sound from Kurtzman. Both musicians motor along with fluency and Vibrant takes up the vocal reigns admirably. The track builds eventually to a wonderful break where guitars solo and the signature switches momentarily. 'Wolf' begins with some dialogue, a bit of Wolfman Jack style vox and a weird fractured fairy tale lyrical vibe. The oddball sound is distinct and experimental featuring piano sprinkled over quirky percussion and bass. It is all tongue in cheek at this point reminding me of Frank Zappa, especially the odd meter and ironical humorous content.

'Darkness Knew' opens with a cool bassline and fragmented tempos, then Vibrant's sweet vibrato caresses. This is again a jazzy cruiser that simply gives a pleasant aroma despite the dark lyrics. The wah wah lead break is sensational capping off another great track. 'The Earth' closes proceedings with some off kilter time sigs that are hard to grasp on but delightfully so. The piano and guitar have a veritable workout as Vibrant takes over on vox, with some of her best work especially on the high register. There are even some male back up vocals but the real drawcard is the incredible musicianship and melody on this one. Zappa like fragmented guitar competes with blindingly complex rhythms and then a smooth synth solo sweetly saturates the song.

In essence Half Past Four are a fantastic band who like to experiment with a wide array of musical styles. Their jazzy interludes are refreshing and as far as guitar workouts, this album has a plethora of lead breaks to savour. The vocals are delightful from Vibrant and overall there are enough magical moments and infectious hooks for this to drag you back for many listens. An excellent 2013 release with innovation and a bold approach from a group who know how to remain unique and yet true to prog rock at its finest.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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