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GODSPEED

Fish On Friday

Crossover Prog


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Fish On Friday Godspeed album cover
3.90 | 41 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Godspeed (10:15)
2. Just a Nightmare (5:35)
3. She Colours the Rainbow (3:42)
4. Callin' Planet Home (5:23)
5. Ghost Song (6:14)
6. Radio (4:20)
7. Sanctuary (8:10)
8. Stay (6:50)
9. Don't Love Me to Death (4:30)
10. Tick Tock (4:05)
11. My Dog (1:17)

Total Time 60:21

Line-up / Musicians

- William Beckers / keyboards, percussion
- Frank Van Bogaert / keyboards, vocals, backing vocals, additional guitars
- Nick Beggs / bass, Chapman stick, backing vocals
- Marcus Weymaere / drums, percussion
- Marty Townsend / guitars
With:
- Theo Travis / saxophone, flute

Releases information

Label: Cherry Red/Esoteric Antenna
Format: CD, Digital
October 27, 2014

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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FISH ON FRIDAY Godspeed ratings distribution


3.90
(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
10%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(63%)
63%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

FISH ON FRIDAY Godspeed reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I am guilty for not having picked up on this Belgian band earlier, I guess being a Thomas makes me some kind of biblical sceptic, doubting all the time! Fish on Friday maybe a perfect name for a Christian rock band but that was not what coloured my decision to delve into their craft and make me hesitate. It was ultimately the numerous positive reviews as well as the clincher, my recent infatuation with Nick Beggs' bass and stick wizardry. This master bass man was only a guest on the preceding release 'Airborne' (which I will now hunt down quickly) and is a full- time component on this studio recording. So let it be written: this is a fabulously entertaining recording with immense melodies, scintillating pace and endless instrumental brilliance. Imagine a huge dash of Supertramp (prog and pop sensibilities), Floydian propellant moods and a definite mid-period Genesis flair, sewn with unending details that keep the pace exciting and unexpected. There is also a smoothness that one could associate with prime Roxy Music, especially when the sax kicks in. Brainchild of keyboardists William Beckers and Frank van Bogaert (who also supplies the soft-edged vocals that will remind one of a certain Dave Gilmour), the blessed crew is fleshed out by ace guitarist Marty Townsend, steady drummer Marcus Weymaere, sax/flute icon Theo Travis (Fripp, Wilson, the Tangent) and of course, the solid sonic undertow of Mr Beggs.

The captivating title track sets the prog standards aloft with an epic 10 minute + swoop, illuminating a well-forged path of mood, atmosphere and stylish magnificence. The saintly pace is bold and confident, piano twinkling like liquid gold, haunting mellotron backdrop and 'godly' vocal work, both lead and harmony that may remind of vintage Barclay James Harvest. Marcus Weymaere really riffles like some madman on his thumping kit, while Townsend adorns some marvelous little licks on the guitar. A simply divine first communion of the finest order, wailing mellotron notwithstanding.

'Just a Nightmare' sources darker themes, piano, organ and synths in the lead, carving out a suave vocal that enthuses right from the get go. Nick Beggs' rumble underpins a brisk stride that embellishes a lovely main melody, dreamy and hopeful. Theo Travis introduces a sensational sax break that inspires and cajoles, remindful of Andy Mackay's passionate style.

Romanticist inspiration continues on 'She Colours the Rainbow', a lighter mood that remains firmly piano driven, pushed along by swirling keyboard work and a gentler swoon. A short ballad that is both heartfelt and fragile. Very pretty indeed.

Having been banished into a such a gentle space, 'Callin' Planet Home' revs up the rockets somewhat, the electric guitar taking up the challenge as it curls around a rather insistent chorus, infused by Travis' devilish flute medley, a churning organ and a smooth as silk rhythmic foundation. Massed choir voices relay a sense of density and majesty. Townsend's languid slide guitar break winks at Dave Floyd, so one can certainly appreciate the suave intent.

'Ghost Song' is another proggy high point, a slow cooker that nods towards the classic Pink Floyd sound, what with the smoky lead voice and seductive backing vocal crescendos. Theo Travis adds his usual amazing touch with some inspired wind instrumental savvy. Another highly addictive melody.

The lightweight but compelling 'Radio' has a humorous radio intro and a punchy discourse, adding more sweeping choir work and lavish keyboards and offering a magical melodic ride not unlike recent work by Nick Magnus, Patterson-Eyre and such. The endless vocal labyrinth is truly phenomenal and addictive. Yes, it poppier material but very enticing indeed.

The persuasive 'Sanctuary' is another extended extravaganza that will immediately remind some fans of the more prog elements of Alan Parsons Project, the vocal department being very adept at multiple surges and drilling the chorus into eternity and armed with a heavier guitar-led crescendo, elevating the piece to lofty heights.

The obligatory sweet love ballad 'Stay' definitely stays in your mind once seduced by the shockingly striking choral work. A breathtaking and starry-eyed piece of heartfelt beauty that will pull at the heartstrings in that most convincing way possible. Yes, simple can be so lovely! Immediately marshaled to my daily 'hit' list, as I could listen to this gem on and on and on. The guitar break rekindles fond memories of Ian Bairnson's finest solos, where verve and exhilaration combine to dazzle.

The highly impulsive 'Don't Love Me to Death' is lyrically intriguing, a much rockier disposition with rambling guitar rampage, swooning keyboards and a driving beat, the voices adding incredible depth to the mix ('You don't give me room to breathe') and a slippery synth solo to seal the deal.

Quirky and quite progressively tinged 'Tick Tock' is strangely remindful of Dream Academy, a short-lived synth-pop group of the 80s that had a brief moment in the spotlight, especially in view of the massed voices and the intricate keyboard cascades that overwhelm and conquer. The razor sharp guitar exchange is quite welcome, together with the ringing orchestral backdrops.

The very short, acoustic and frivolous 'My Dog' adds a little personality and a bark or two. 'Cheesy lyrics' indeed! This is a killer album that caught me quite unaware but better late than never. Shame on me for letting this epic scroll go by, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

4.5 divinity hustles

Review by FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fish on Friday might have totally passed me by if it wasn't for the coincidence of me looking for new bands to purchase soon and a timely review someone posted somewhere (PA? Amazon?) of this album. The review sounded so good and a quick sample of the music told me that I would likely like it. And I did! Do!

The label "crossover" is one that steers me away because I imagine that it means it's a pop or rock band with occasional tendencies to be a little more musically intellectual. I tell myself that I want something more challenging, which makes no sense as many of my favourite albums are crossover, or rock albums with just some progressive tendencies like Rush, Saga or Deep Purple. I also like some pop prog like Alan Parsons Project, The Moody Blues, and Supertramp. So, surprise, surprise, this here is a crossover prog album that I quite like.

From the first listen, I was already of the opinion that this was like "Learning to Fly / Momentary Lapse of Reason / On the Turning Away" Pink Floyd or perhaps eighties Moody Blues. There are these beautiful vocal melodies and harmonies and mature, adult lyrics about life, love, and human relations and human experience. I'm guessing "Tick- Tock" is a song about someone with Alzheimer's disease because the chorus goes "You don't remember" and the lyrics are about someone who forgets everything. For me, much of what is so appealing about the album are the vocal melodies and harmonies.

The music features a lot of piano and acoustic guitar, but also synthesizer and electric guitar. The guitar can get a bit heavy on the rock side but never in a hard rock or metal way. It just adds some nuance of fullness and energy to the music in places. The most successful moments are when the music eases down and gives us simple percussion and bass along with piano and acoustic guitar or a simple lead electric. There are places where the music picks up tempo and volume and it still sounds great; however, I found that listening on my iPhone, these more energized moments don't sound as clear. It's as though the sound becomes a big warm fug, the drums muted a bit and the vocals surrounded by other instruments. The CD sounded much better on my car stereo.

Overall, the general sound of the album is mature contemporary pop rock but with change ups in the songs so that you can never be sure when a song is going to suddenly slow down and ease back or going to pick up in energy. "Sanctuary", for example, begins quietly and then builds with some synthesizer and female vocals, and then rocks out for a stretch before dropping back to a more eased back approach. It goes acoustic and laid back before returning to the charged pop rock sound with the electric guitar and female vocals. The title track also goes through some changes, demonstrating the band's ability to stretch beyond the borders of the standard adult contemporary pop song. In short, Fish on Friday seamlessly blend a simple pop rock approach with the daring spirit of prog. Crossover prog indeed!

The songs to have caught my attention and to have received the most replays are "Tick-Tock", a simple but beautiful song; "Don't Love Me to Death", which adds some different components to the song to go beyond average; and the pretty and sweet ode to a dear friend and family member, "My Dog". It's a short but cute track. The rest of the album includes moments of interest in every song, including beautiful instrumental parts, more catchy melodies and soul-soothing harmonies, and even some flute and sax solos. Not every song captivates me from start to finish but each song has something I like, some more than others.

If you like eighties, post-Waters Floyd or eighties Moody Blues but recorded with a modern sound and approach, then I suggest checking out the album. I played it for my family in the car the other day and my kids and wife were asking about who we were listening to. Of my big batch of new purchases, this stands out as one of the preferred listening experiences so far. Maybe not essential, but certainly a very good album worth having.

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