image © Half Past Four 2008
click on image for band's MySpace
image © Half Past Four 2008
(29 August 2010) Half Past Four are a five member band from Toronto, Canada. Their debut album Rabbit In The Vestibule (7 79289 40042 8, 2008) is a thirteen track collection of progressive numbers with a total running time of just over an hour. The band is fronted by lead vocalist Kyree Vibrant. The lineup also includes: Constantin Necrason (guitars, mandolin, bass, vocals); Dmitry Lesov (bass, acoustic guitar, vocals) and Igor Kurtzman (keyboards, sound effects). Although Pisanski was the guest drummer who recorded the band's debut album, Ann Brody (drums and percussion) recorded the demos we'll review later and is now a full time member of Half Past Four.
Half Past Four is a unique and innovative art rock band. Crafting original, fresh soundscapes, the band offers exquisite musical novelty and experimentation to true musical connoisseurs and rock-party goers alike. Drawing its inspiration from unique heritage of King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull and many other progressive, kraut, art and math-rock bands, Half Past Four takes pride and pleasure in taking progressive rock a little further and planting its seeds in the harsh soil of contemporary popular culture.
Half Past Four's style is hard to describe as the group does not restrict itself to following one specific genre. Free of mercantile ambitions, musicians concern themselves with what they do best: writing and performing a free spirited, never before played chord structures and melodies. Experimental arrangement, fusion composition, polyrhythmic structures and atonal melodies are not uncommon in Half Past Four music. Going as far as constructing their own sound equipment and musical instruments, Half Past Four sheds the traditionalist shell and presents itself in its inimitable, distinctive and inspiring sound which breathes positivism and freedom. Listen to them on MySpace or at their official website.
Kyree (Fisher) Vibrant is the person that gives Half Past Four its meaning. She speaks, sings, screams, shouts, whispers, and sustains her notes with passion and confidence. Author of the majority of Half Past Four's lyrics, and the lead singer, Kyree is an exciting persona who draws impressionists landscapes and tells long involving tales of lives long lived and times long passed and yet to come. Her lyrics can give you a kaleidoscopic vertigo and her characters come alive, calling, drawing and consuming you whole, emotionally. Being an accomplished director and cinema aficionado, Kyree develops visual aspects of the show, lighting and video projections.
Ann Brody is a peculiar breed of a wunderkind. Born and raised in a family of artists and musicians, she is well versed in most exquisite contemporary music from jazz to rock to progressive. The youngest member of Half Past Four, she shocks concert goers with her musical versatility and skills. The polyrhythmic queen, suffering from a severe syncopation syndrome drives the music of Half Past Four at speeds and precision yet unfathomed my the human mind. She is a well tuned and powerful engine, yet a humble and inspired lady, who everyone adores.
In addition to the Rabbit In The Vestibule conpact disc, we were provided with a four track 2009 demo recording. The debut album is a masterwork with the track "Lullaby" being the instrumental standout. While the name might lead readers one way, this is a robust progressive rock track full of vast guitar excursions and powerful rock arrangements. The vocal numbers are remarkable and span a wide range of sounds. "Biel" is a robust track and is quite illustrative of Kyree's vocal prowess and the extended track is a tribute to the band's overall sound. Visit the band's website to see in-concert photos to get the vibe of Half Past Four's live performances.
Since their debut album has been critically acclaimed elsewhere in the media, we'll focus our comments on the new material. "Earth" is a powerful and rhythmic track with lush vocal layers and rich instrumentation. Kyree's powerful vocal work is right up front while the men provide backing in the chorus. While her vocal work is as powerful and crisp in "Landmines," listeners will hear a distinct difference in the arrangement with keyboard and guitar working more closely together. Half Past Four's characteristic dramatic change in time signatures recur in the downtempo "Cool Water." Raunchy electric guitar work that emerges in the verses is subdued in the vocal harmonies that emerge in the choruses. Our four-track demo concluded with an extremely short and very highly varied cabaret-style track entitled "Spin The Girl." Kyree sings in a much lower register during the vocal passages. The instrumentals are wild.
Half Past Four's music is not only progressive but it is novel in construction and sound. Their recordings are drawing attention from progressive enthusiasts worldwide and their live performances are contributing to their acclaim.
While the demos don't have the production quality of Rabbit In The Vestibule, they reveal the band's continued development and demonstrate their ongoing creativity.