Fish On Friday – Black Rain: Album Review

Fish On Friday release their fifth album Black Rain. It’s a “coming of age” record according to bassist Nick Beggs.

Release Date: 15th May 2020

Label: Cherry Red / Esoteric Antenna

Formats: CD / DL

One of those bands where you’re not quite sure why you’ve missed them. The distinctive visual style continues and the foursome of Nick Beggs, Marty Townsend, Frank Van Bogaert and Marcus Weymaere getting a couple of significant helping hands on Black Rain.

As a response to the positive reactions to Lula Beggs’ vocal contributions to Fish on Friday’s previous album, Quiet Life, Lula was given a greater role, appearing on four of the eleven tracks on the album. Theo Travis also provides some flute on Angel Of Mercy and subtle soprano sax and clarinet on the poetic Letting Go Of You along with Lula’s lead vocal. It’s a lovely subdued track that builds to an uplifting passage (despite a certain soundbite…).

You could be quick to compare Beggs’ own recent solo material that’s varied between the progressive angst of his Mute Gods work to his Words Fail Me and other instrumental albums. Black Rain seems to pick up on some familiar and sombre themes: the ‘getting older’ of the title track, the ‘world of regret’ that crops up amidst the optimism of We Choose To Be Happy and talk of losing the fight and the redemption in the bittersweet Letting Go Of You for starters. Like Beggs’ Mute Gods project, there’s a fair sense of being mad at the world – Fish On Friday even have a song of the same name.

So yes, the album certainly has its darker sides with its commentary on the fast-paced changes in the world we live in – the environment, war, politics, refugees – but there also seems to be some place to counter with some more positive moments.

Musically, Black Rain follows a path that criss-crosses between progressive music and pop music. The lovely swell and guitar line in Life In Towns sit next to the retro Eighties pop synths that pepper Muderous Highland Highway that’s more positive than it sounds.

However, the general musical air and vibe are solidly upbeat and uptempo. Very cool and even Summery if you head to the sprightly We Choose To Be Happy and the closing track Diamonds that holds a hidden hook in it’s closing part.

Watch the video about the making of the album here:

Fish On Friday online: Website / Facebook

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