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Fen - 'Of Losing Interest' (Ripple) 4.5/5

This is the fifth album from British Columbia based stoner prog outfit Fen, an outfit that has been around since the late 1990's and their second for Ripple music.

First impressions of this one are very favourable, like a lot of Ripples roster the term stoner rock is the first thing that springs to mind as the opening cut Riddles lurks from the speakers and conjures up sonic images of early Rush, Black Sabbath and Triumph. However as the nine tracks on offer play you begin to pick up a lot more diversity of influence and sound that many of their retro rocking stoner counterparts. A Long Line has an almost Kashmir style Zeppelin vibe to it. The Glove, with its not so subtle lyrical references to Michael Jackson, hints at the work of Max Webster, Light Up The End is a sweet acoustic led pseudo ballad that hints at The Grateful Dead on a Rainbow trip and Snake Path reminds me a little of Blue Oyster Cult in places (a very good thing indeed in my book)

As is to expected the playing and production here is faultless, Doug Harrison and Sam Levin are both superb guitarist, each capable of laying down some spine tingling lead work and joining together in some classic Wishbone Ash style twin lead sections - just check out the lead playing on Pilot Plant. Another big plus is the lyrical content; which serves up some very intelligent and quite dark imagery that is delivered by Mr Harrisons Burke Shelley / Geddy Lee type vocals in spine tingling style.

All in all a great record from a first rate band, and a release that will do both Fen's and Ripple's growing reputation the power of good.

Highly Recommended

For fans of... Mos Generator, Rush, Stone Axe, Blue Oyster Cult, Led Zeppelin...

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