A Feast of Consequences
(Chocolate Frog Record Company Ltd)
Ex-lead singer (for quite a while now) of Marillion, Fish has never put out easy listening albums or albums that are easy to listen to (in a good way). His latest independently released A Feast of Consequences is a hard but good listen.
Opening with “Perfume River,” we get some great soundscapes and Fish’s distinctive vocal biting back his points, then midway some up-ahead acoustic stompin’ with backing vocals from Elisabeth Troy Antwi that really opens things up. “Blind To the Beautiful” is a ballad of a breathy Fish vocals over an expertly placed acoustic from Robin Boult, who is brilliant throughout these 11 tracks, and solid fiddle and accordion backing. I like the bleak “I just can’t see the beautiful” lyric. “High Wood” is tops with a Foss Paterson piano and a low talking Fish vocal; this one rolls into a big splashy snare midway and has a truly cool release of dynamics using a longer tune perfectly.
The oompah band opening of “The Gathering” is neato and again we hear Fish singing over a flangy acoustic. Though lyrically on this horn-full number, Fish might be beating us over the head singing about war again (there’s a lot of talk of graves, ravage of land, decimation here). But I like the menace of “Thistle Alley,” with its studied acoustic and how Steve Vantsis’s bass and Gavin Griffiths’ drums chunk into a great thick back beat; it’s a great, great tune. The music of “The Leaving” is great too (wonderful guitar work and drums), but guess what Fish is singing about again?
“The Other Side of Me” is the introspection I was waiting for since “Blind,” a perfect blending of voices, a lyric not about war, great guitar and fiddle playing. Antwi is featured in the swirling ender “The Great Unraveling,” another wonderful, personal lyric in a thick juicy production.
You can purchase the album here.