Fish Tank ‘Henry’ EP Review

So I thought I’d roll back the last few years by reviewing what I consider to be the best indie/art rock EP ever made by an independent band. Considering there are just four songs on the EP yet they took up a solid two years of my listening pleasure and never ceased to bore me, I’d have to say the impact is almost indescribable.

Fish tank are what I’d consider as an art experimental indie band, they play with prog structures and progressions with experimental guitar techniques whilst also keeping a commercial sound that would satisfy audiences. By utilising guitar tapping in open tuning’s, funky bass lines that get the toes tapping and drum sequences of utter complexity yet effortless in execution; they managed to make an incredible list of songs for a band that has little to no recognition.

Firstly Capybara kicks off the album with immediate effect using the same tapping technique I previously mentioned whilst also keeping the song structured and conjunct. By using timbers that glisten on the ear, lyrics that make no sense whatsoever yet are etched into memory and drums that explore genre staple progressions from jazz fusion to new wave; it kicks off the album superbly.

Kakapo comes along next and kicks up the tempo with something more reminiscent of math rock by the likes of fall of troy and shows the variation and musical complexity these guys can offer. With innovative chords and vocal melodies that work in unison so well it only furthers the satisfaction to a listener. Ed (the vocalist) May not have the strongest voice in modern indie music but he has a certain charm and projection that is identifiable and adds buckets of individuality to the tracks.

Ginny then hits and number three on the listings and in my opinion it is the definitive indie masterpiece. Recognisable yet inventive, commercial yet experimental, sweet yet heavy and soft yet bold, Ginny encapsulates everything perfect about this bands style. For a young band to sound so polished and mature yet be so young is unbelievable. With lyrics that’s are instantaneous examples of sheer disfunctional poetry, guitar that leaves a prodigies every where in awe at the imagination, bass that rivalled only by the Motown classics of old (yet still trumps it in my opinion) and a drum pattern that creates grooves that flow from stylistic perfection to abrasive wonder with utmost fluency; the song is quite possibly the best indie song ever written. It summarises everything enjoyable about the genre and then adds even more to burger bap.

Oliver Postgate is the track that rounds off the EP and it does it with profound professionalism as not only an ode to the late great author of the Mr Men series of books, but also as another great instance of composition competence. Again with melodies that further diversify from the rest of the album and instrumental cohesion that backs up every syllable, the song is again another memorable momento that contributes this beautifully detailed EP.

Since discovering and watching the group live at an independent show in a tiny pub with about 6 people in the crowd a few years back, I’ve always kept the same degree of admiration towards their musical prowess. If these guys aren’t signed up soon and don’t live the blockbuster careers they all deserve, I will be shocked and appalled in the waste of talent that could of been harnessed so brilliantly. It’s not every day that an old metal head and technical enthusiast like me can completely fall in love with an indie album let alone an EP by an unsigned indie act.

GEP Rating: 10/10 – With unflawed fluidity from track to track and a lasting effect that causes you to compare all quality to this very EP, ‘Henry’ is more than deserved of the perfect seal of praise.

IEP Rating: 10/10 – Worth every penny, go buy it you schmucks!

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