Phatfish are back! With the release of ‘In Jesus’, their latest album, comes the welcome return of the Brighton based song-smiths and a return to the youthful and vigorous sounds that made their 2001 release Heavenbound so successful; due in part to the injection of two new guitarists, Jos Wintermeyer and Ben Hall.
The album is yet another uplifting demonstration of the bands faithful commitment to presenting the truth of Christ, and is arguably their best work yet. This is the next chapter in the success story of this prolific band and is sure to contribute another set of soul-strengthening songs to fans old and new. From the blues-rock title track In Jesus, with its grungy rock guitars, chunky Hammond and shatteringly lucid presentation of the gospel, to the equally driving and compelling Mission - the album travels and journeys through a diverse soundscape with the ease and dexterity that fans have come to expect. Lou’s vocals are as soaring and accomplished as they have ever been, negotiating this fresh set of melodies with perfect clarity, while the rest of the band play with a zeal and energy that belies any assumption of the bands slowing down. This is Phatfish as we know and love them.
The lyrics are wonderfully potent; free from over poeticism and needless embellishment, they present the truths of scripture in the typical no-nonsense way that makes their work so edifying to listen to. A lyrical highlight is Lou Fellingham’s If I Have Not Love, a song that unassumingly echoes Paul’s sentiment in 1 Corinthians 13, and brings an honest, down to earth concession of our need to love and serve with Christ as our great example. Mike Sandeman’s Pardoned is another real highlight, and is the most anthemic on the album. With its quasi-hymnal passages and huge sound, the song is another spectacularly clear declaration of God’s great salvation plan. The final 2 minutes of the track are about as epic as you can get, with stunningly ethereal guitar and powerful drumming underscoring Lou’s inescapable line “All my sins are washed away, through your death, the price you paid”. A special moment in a fantastic song.
This album, amidst the currently dogged generic Christian music industry, comes as a bracing departure into new musical expressions and genres. No one Like Our God with its swirling retro synth sounds and the phenomenally hard-hitting proclamation of He Watches Over Me (my favourite track!) is a production tour de force and is rich in the kind of detail and flair that ranks this album among Phatfish’s best work yet.Buy this album.. it will do you good. After all this time, Phatfish are somehow still capable of offering superb songs, skilfully executed and packed with great biblical truths that will feed and strengthen individuals and churches alike.
•‘In Jesus’ is available now, and details of Phatfish tour dates are found at www.phatfish.net.
•Phatfish have a tour-date at CCK, in Brighton on June 13th, supported by Seeker, doors open at 7pm. Tickets available here.