International prog outfit Fish On Friday are, if you’ll forgive the laboured metaphor, a bit like one of those minor Premier League teams that get a cash injection and suddenly add world class names to their roster.
Ahead of last album Godspeed they announced the signing of bassist extraordinaire Nick Beggs, while this time they’ll be hoping to shift some shirts after picking up Alan Parsons on loan. The progressive great is one of the key influences on the band’s Belgian lynchpins Frank van Bogaert and William Beckers, and here he both produces and performs guest vocals on penultimate track In The Key Of Silence. The song, recorded at Abbey Road no less, is one of the record’s most diverting, channelling a little Eagles-esque soft rock in the dual vocals of van Bogaert and Parsons over some almost upsettingly pleasant chiming arpeggios from guitarist Marty Townsend. The familiar Pink Floyd pacing on opener Unreal sets the tone for a record that is a soft, comfortable listen. Essentially, this is progressive chill-out and neo-prog noggins will feel immediately soothed in its surroundings, if rarely challenged or surprised. We’re left hoping for some flashier plays, then, but it’s a solid performance from the team.