We Know the Story 
Artist: Phatfish 
Label: Survivor Records - Kingsway (UK) 

Once upon a time there was an acid-jazz band from Brighton called Purple Phatfish. Thankfully they've dropped the Purple...they're now just Phatfish.  This is their fourth recording and is a collection of what are mostly worship songs, reflecting a slight change of emphasis for the band. 

Musically the acid-jazz influences are still very prominent, with funky guitar sounds on a number of tracks, and some strong bass playing. The band also brings in more straightforward rock influences, the odd delirious?-like touch, and a few distinctive ideas of their own. The band has both a drummer and a percussionist, so there is some diversity in this area of their sound. Vocalist Lou is excellent, although not quite as powerful as when I saw them live. She has a wide range and holds a tune very well - best demonstrated on "Wake Up O Sleeper." 

The songwriting is fairly good, especially considering a number of tracks are written for congregations to sing. Some tracks unfortunately lack the muscular feel they have live, and that is the weak point of the album for me. "Here is the Risen Son" is a case in point - the chorus has a cool funky sound, but the verses lack impact. An interesting band who could go far, but I'm not sure that this album will take them there. Despite that, it's still a good listen. 

By James Stewart