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The Fringe - 'The Fringe' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     August 09, 2017    
 
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If your taste doesn't stretch much beyond the Prog that one expects from D'Virgilio and Reingold, then this probably isn't for you.

Needless to say, a band featuring the talents of Nick D'Virgilio (ex-Spock's Beard, Big Big Train) and Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic) is going to attract my attention as they're members of some of my favourite bands. So without a second's hesitation I purchased their debut album which they've created alongside guitarist/vocalist Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance).

However, I wasn't expecting what I heard. There's little in common with any of the first four bands mentioned above, instead The Fringe plough a power trio furrow that's more akin to an amalgam of Rush and King's X with nods in the direction of Mr Big, particularly vocally.

'You' is a terrific song that opens with a modern guitar riff, moves into Enchant territory when McStine's vocals arrive and then touches Spock's style when D'Virgilio sings the wonderful chorus. The verse of 'Opening Day' put me in mind of a Joe Walsh solo song, but again the track has several different facets, some aggressive in the modern sense.

'A Second Or Two' has a Reggae beat and some Steely Dan traits in the vocals. The guitar solo is deliberately distorted, sounding like the amp has been massively overloaded. 'Flare' has that KX feel on the intro whilst the bridge and chorus are fabulous with the Enchant sensibilities shining through. In true Prog fashion there's a complete change of mood part way through where they take the pace right down and Reingold's lush bass takes the lead, before a lengthy guitar solo that builds in intensity.

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'Go' is a less intense song, it's a moody number featuring some thunderous bass and an infectious guitar refrain, whilst 'My Greatest Invention' has a riff like early Rush which alternates with two different styles including another fine chorus and a modern Led Zeppelin feel.

'Snake Eyes' has a Rush/MB hybrid vibe and closer 'Yours To Steal' starts with a Genesis-like drum machine pattern and builds from there, it even has a hint of Muse about it during its first half. It culminates with a guitar solo of Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd) calibre which, annoyingly, is faded out.

If your taste doesn't stretch much beyond the Symphonic/classic Prog that one expects from D'Virgilio and Reingold, then this probably isn't for you. Should you have a more extensive palette then there's plenty to entice you to this album.

Gary Marshall

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