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Strangefish: Full Scale

Yes, Virginia, there is good neo progressive rock. Early Marillion was an excellent example and now, so is Strangefish.

Full Scale has all the elements of good neo: The standard rock lineup, lots of keys to give it texture, excellent guitar work, clearly enunciated mid-range vocals, intelligent song structures, and all the tempo changes and key changes and multi-layered instrumentation that define progressive music. And more than a tip of the hat to early Genesis. And if that doesn't convince you, perhaps this will: Strangefish was voted Best New Band of 2003 by the UK's Classic Rock Society The received top honors in three categories: Best New Band, Best Male Vocalist and Best Drummer. They came second in many other categories. In fact the only area they didn't achieve honor was Best Female Vocalist and that's only because they don't have one!

This certainly doesn't sound like a debut album. It is tight, the music is complex but played with the comfortable ease of deep experience And perhaps the "new band" category is a bit of a stretch. You see Full Scale is the band's debut album, but they've been playing together for no less than fourteen years and that depth shows.

Songwriting is one of Strangefish's strengths, along with excellent musicianship. Each song has its own very distinct character and you won't be bored. The vocals are full of emotion and expression in the mold of an early Gabriel or Hammill the best example being the eclectic, Genesis- esque "Touch Sensitive" which is surely the standout track.. The lyrics seem to be intelligent and are peppered with snippets of Brit wit. It was hard to tell for sure because the promotional copy we received was a hand-labeled CD-R and a half-page bio, with no cover art, and no lyrics.

So Full Scale is very good neo prog, but more important, you just might find yourself playing it again and again.

Track Listing :

  1. Shifting Sands And Turning Tides (10:08)
  2. Oceans Deep (11:19)
  3. Listening To Ghosts (7:46)
  4. Take A Holiday (4:39)
  5. At First Sight (11:38)
  6. Touch Sensitive (7:12)
  7. Wallflower (5:29)
  8. Simple Life (9:05)

Added: June 8th 2004
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: Strangefish's Web Site
Hits: 9462
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Strangefish: Full Scale
Posted by WalkerZone on 2004-11-24 07:51:54
My Score:

Ahh and now they HAVE played the Astoria.

I think it is fair to say that on the night they were the best of the lot, despite the fact they were the first band on.

The reception was excellent and I suspect a number of people who have now seen them live for the first time are keeping their fingers crossed that SF will soon lighten our stages in the deep south again.

I have been fortunate to have seen much of SF in their early years, then alas when I moved away to the southeast I lost touch. What I saw on Sunday night is a band which has evolved from a child to a band well on it's way to playing with the grown ups!

If you haven't seen/heard/visited the website of, SF then do so now! If this is your scene musically you will be disappointed if you don't find out more about them!


Strangefish: Full Scale
Posted by Floydian Slip on 2004-06-09 05:24:16
My Score:


A fantastic review for a fantastic album, I have had this album since it's release in Nov 2003 and have seen them live a few times.

If you like the album I would have to recommend you see them live, they have a lot of energy onstage and like the album are very tight musically.
Apparently they will be playing the London Astoria on the second day of the Progeny Festival in November (not sure of the date!).

If you haven't got the album you can get it from their site (It's the only place I have found it!) http://www.strangefish.co.uk/shop.html




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