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Tinyfish - Tinyfish CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.35 | 24 ratings

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4 stars This is the debut CD from the self-styled "world's smallest prog rock band" and very good it is too. Starting off with some mysterious spoken words from Rob Ramsay ("I made my escape before the black, cold, dog noses could touch my thighs. I poured myself a drink for the suicidal into a chair and proceeded to twist the bottle's neck until I woke up in Ecuador with two pairs of pants and a big-boned nurse who said she had contacts. On the in-side, that is."), "Motorville" kicks in the album with a fine guitar riff over some nifty bass drum work from Simon Godfrey (the brother of Frost's Jem). "Fly like a bird" takes things down a notch or two and features a brilliant guitar solo. "Nine months on fire" picks things up again and is the start of a succession of excellent tracks that take us through to the Eleanor Rigby-like "Sundried", which reprises a theme from the chorus of the earlier "Too high for low company" (a song which shows off the talents of bass player Paul Worwood). The next track is the "epic" of the album - "All hands lost" at just over 12 minutes - which starts off slow but soon picks up the pace with some chunky guitar work. The album concludes with the eponymous title track, which is more of an ambient piece and winds down the CD gently.

The album contains a number of spoken word contributions from Rob Ramsay and he has managed to avoid the slightly cringe-inducing approach of early Moody Blues and his contributions definitely add something to the album. To my mind, they make the album reminiscent of the equally brilliant "Cerulean Blue" by Rain. The band's website contains useful background information on each song and this all helps to make the whole thing a more complete package.

All in all this album is up there with "Fear of a blank planet" as my favourite album of 2007 so far and there are a great many prog bands who would have liked their debut album to have been as good as this. At first listening it may seem like simple rock/pop, but repeated listenings bring out the subtleties in the instrumentation and particularly the vocal harmonies. I can hear bits of their quoted influences (King Crimson, Marillion, Tom Waits and some Porcupine Tree and Rush) but they have found their own sound here and it's a good one. I can't recommend this highly enough.

chopper | 4/5 |


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