Half Past Four - Good Things

(CD 2013, 58:31, Paper Plane Music)

The tracks:
  1- It Strikes You(4:27)
  2- Good Things(6:27)
  3- All Day And All Night(4:45)
  4- Rise(6:00)
  5- Landmines(4:46)
  6- Cool Water(5:25)
  7- Spin The Girl(2:42)
  8- Fate(4:16)
  9- I Am Lion(6:35)
10- Wolf(3:09)
11- Darkness Knew(4:37)
12- The Earth(5:27)

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Sometimes it takes a while before an album is picked up by both the press and the audience. This happened with the album Rabbit In The Vestibule (2008, see review) by Half Past Four from Toronto, Canada. On that debut the band had no problems at all to play reggae, rock, Latin American or salsa rhythms whenever it was needed for the song. You could even notice Eastern rhythms and influences. At the time Background Magazine rated this record with three stars which means 'good'. Now, five years later, Half Past Four treats us to the always difficult second album.

Good Things continues where the debut ended: a kind of nervous progressive jazz-rock with a touch of Frank Zappa. These musicians use in each individual song more musical ideas and styles than other bands do on a full-length album! However, personally I miss the mutual connection in both sound and vision and the mixing and mastering could have been better either. Furthermore I miss the essential 'audio glue'; a bit of tension and consistency to make it sound transparent and coherent. For all this Good Things couldn't impress me for one single second.

The voice of Kyree Vibrant is often compared to the voice of Kate Bush, but in my opinion this comparison falls short. Vibrant's timbre is too hysterical. She often gives me the creeps like a piece of chalk scratching on a blackboard. Nina Hagen's witch's voice came to mind as being more appropriate.

All together you get nine tracks of nervous old school progressive music with a total length of almost an hour. If you like Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa, Renaissance or Kate Bush, you might give this album a try, but don't say that I didn't warn you! As you already noticed Half Past Four is not my cup of tea!

** Gert Bruins (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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