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Fish On Friday

Crossover Prog

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Fish On Friday Black Rain album cover
4.12 | 40 ratings | 2 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Life in Towns (5:45)
2. Murderous Highland Highway (8:13)
3. Black Rain (4:53)
4. Mad at the World (4:57)
5. Letting Go of You (6:48)
6. Angel of Mercy (4:48)
7. We've Come Undone (5:08)
8. Morphine (3:08)
9. We Choose to Be Happy (3:25)
10. Trapped in Heaven (4:04)
11. Diamonds (4:22)

Total Time 55:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Frank Van Bogaert / keyboards, guitar, vocals, producer & arranger
- William Beckers / keyboards, percussion
- Marty Townsend / acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin
- Nick Beggs / bass, Chapman Stick, backing vocals
- Marcus Weymaere / drums & percussion

- Lula Beggs / vocals

Releases information

Label: Cherry Red Records/Esoteric Antenna
Format: CD, Digital
April 17, 2020
Artwork: Michal Karcz

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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FISH ON FRIDAY Black Rain ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FISH ON FRIDAY Black Rain reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
5 stars I'm saddened by the minimal amount of attention for this wonderful band from Antwerpen, Belgium. Not only this latest album has remained unreviewed, but there are only five PA reviews in total, as many as they have released studio albums since their formation in 2009. Yeah, it's debatable if Fish On Friday is a progressive rock band in the first place, but does it really matter? Their music is melodic, very accessible and catchy pop-rock with a prog flavor and I enjoy them to a great deal. My acquaintance with their other albums is incomplete, but I daresay that on Black Rain the band is at their strongest.

The frontman Frank Van Boegart is responsibe of vocals, songwriting, keyboards and additional guitars. The main guitarist Marty Townsend seems to have a blues background (which isn't very audible here), while the most acknowledged member of the quartet is the British bass/Chapman stick player Nick Beggs who joined the line-up for the third album Godspeed (2014). Beggs has played in Kajagoogoo, Iona, The Mute Gods, Lifesigns plus bands of both Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson, so he's pretty known in modern prog circles. But it's definitely the singer- songwriter that deserves the biggest kudos. For starters, Frank is an excellent vocalist. His voice is warm and sensitive, comparable to Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout) and Nick Magnus (Steve Hackett, solo). Oh, nearly forgot to mention that Frank Van Boegart also produces the music and does it truly excellently. Without a hesitation I make a reference to Alan Parsons. The sound is clear, dynamic, organic and easy on the ears in a good way.

When I say that all these eleven songs are highly pleasant, I don't mean the album would be overtly mellow pop missing some kick and grab. On the contrary, it may be sharper than the earlier albums. Sonically it's not difficult at all to consider it as Crossover Prog. The songs do not stretch the compositional structure very radically, but nor they fall into the trap of refrain-chorus-refrain-chorus-bridge-chorus. 'Murderous Highland Highway' is the longest at eight minutes without notably sticking out as a prog highlight in my reception, simply because other songs are mostly equally successful. The title track is a good example of the effective, positive catchiness in this band's music. The female & male background vocals throughout the album work nicely, and the special guest Lula Beggs appears more upfront on some songs such as the ballad 'Letting Go of You', where one also hears soprano sax and clarinet of Theo Travis (Soft Machine, King Crimson, The Tangent, Steven Wilson,...). The closing piece 'Diamonds' is nearly a duet with Lula.

By looking at the few previous reviews for Fish On Friday here, I guess the most easily spotted shortcoming could be worded as "more of the same". Perhaps so, since they were very good right from the start and had found their own style. I notice that I enjoy this album more and more with each listening, so I feel justified to give a full rating. Instead of being "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music" (obviously not, I know!), this is a wonderfully written, produced and performed album of prog-pop, and warmly recommended to all friends of melodic, modern Crossover Prog from Steve Hackett and Nick Magnus to It Bites and Lonely Robot -- especially if you also have a good time with sophisticated pop like Prefab Sprout and Tears For Fears.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Prog with pop sensibilities, or is it pop with prog sensibilities? Which ever the case, this is quite an accomplishment. And it's timing was impeccable, early in the covid shut down, a time of great darkness and depression for many. Here is a group of songs that for the most part are encouraging ... (read more)

Report this review (#2785237) | Posted by SilverLight59 | Wednesday, August 17, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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