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Steve Hillage - Fish Rising CD (album) cover


Steve Hillage


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 452 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars The almost 17 minute suite that opens this album is quite nice. Not great, but I can easily sit through it. After that there is very little to recommend it really. There are lots of grey areas on this album, sections where there is very little going on. The highlights are easy to count, and between them there is often an ocean of ambience and noise to get through before you get there. Fish and Meditation Of The Snake are rather pointless interludes and Salmon Song is the second real song of the album.

If you have seen the Monty Python film The Meaning Of Life, you will know why I mention it here in connection with Fish. There is a very strange section of said film that is almost exactly like Fish - "fishy- fishy-fish!" In a crazy comedy it works really well, but on a rock album it does not - a very silly, very fishy and completely unnecessary interlude.

The Salmon song starts out promising enough, and I enjoy it for its first couple of minutes. But when the main riff on which the song is based is repeated over and over it does tend to get more than a bit boring before its eight minutes are over.

The 14 minutes long Aftagild feels as if it is 14 hours long! There is nothing awful in it at all, it is just that it lacks direction and focus and becomes boring long before it is over. I could sit through it if I am in the right mood, but I do not remember anything about it afterwards.

I am not a big fan of Hillage and I know only a couple of songs from Gong. But I certainly prefer the much more focused second album L, as well as the live album Live Herald, over this rather unfocused debut album. But the best album featuring Hillage that I've heard so far is without doubt the excellent Space Shanti by his previous band Khan.

Not recommended, unless you have a particular interest for this type of Space Prog.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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