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Fish on Friday: Quiet Life

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Get Up"

Belgian artists, William Beckers (keys) and Frank Van Bogaert (vocals, keys , guitars) founded this progressive rock quartet in 2009 and have garnered wide-appeal and praise. Along with eminent UK bassist Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett, The Mute Gods) and the other fine instrumentalists, they morph the juicier aspects of classic prog into a polished and thoroughly melodic sound, where the utmost importance is placed on compositional excellence.

Most of the works on the band's fourth album are intricately arranged with layered keys, poignant soloing jaunts and whispery vocal choruses amid hearty rock pulses and subtle paradigm shifts. Moreover, the album features Alan Parsons, saxophonist Theo Travis, Begg's daughter, vocalist Lula Beggs and others who lend their wares on various tracks. The musicians infuse numerous textural aspects via upbeat balladry, anthemic interludes and mystical shadings, where background EFX are strategically placed. Hence, nothing wreaks of overkill, but with soothing multi-part vocal harmonies and hummable thematic content, you have a little icing on the cake.

"Get Up" is a piece that typifies the ensemble's chemistry. It's largely built on medium-tempo rock grooves, wondrously contrasted by Van Bogaert's fervent acoustic guitar strumming and Becker's circular ostinato piano clusters to complement or perhaps counterbalance the overall acoustic-electric presentation. Yet Marty Townsend adds a brash dynamic front with his extended sustain-driven electric guitar notes that help elevate matters into powerful crescendos. Here, the group toggles between prog and serious-minded pop rock. However, Van Bogaert's hush-toned and harmonious vocals elucidate the catchy hook that shifts octaves, leading to a spirited wordless vocal passage, topped off with expansive keys that generate a capacious outlook. Indeed, it's another superfine outing as the quintet takes the prog rock idiom back to college by exercising refinement and upping the ante when required, among other gratifying characteristics.

Personnel: William Beckers: keyboards, percussion; Frank Van Bogaert: vocals, keyboards, guitars, backing vocals; Nick Beggs: bass, Chapman stick, backing vocals; Marty Townsend: electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin; Marcus Weymaere: drums, percussion.

Title: Quiet Life | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Cherry Red Records

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