Following up last year's debut album Carp Diem, Christchurch band Fish Out Of Water are back with a new EP. This release is a step up in quality, with less rawness and a bit more polish. The young band are clearly finding a richer vein of form, gaining a growing reputation for live performances full of verve and energy. Stylistically they combine folk music with rock, producing a sound that is at once traditional and yet very modern.
The highlight of the EP comes early, with the title track perfectly showcasing their merging of these two genres. This is pounding folk, married to a toe-tapping beat and a great vocal performance from Maria Green. Jacky My Son starts off low key and with the emphasis firmly on a traditional folk song, though it doesn't take long to introduce a more prog-rock sound, melding the two together. Lower Thy Crown is an original song, with a rich political vein throughout (and much talk of 'off with their heads'), and is simply wonderful. Cold Haily Windy Night closes out the EP, returning to a classic tale and reinventing it with a modern touch.
If you haven't come across Fish Out Of Water before, this is a perfect introduction. Their ability to fuse together the old and the new to break new ground makes for a wonderful listening experience. Hares On A Mountain and Lower Thy Crown are superb tracks and great showcases, the latter showing that they can do more than simply put a great modern spin on an old classic. This is a stronger record than their debut, and bodes very well for the future.
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