The Big Red Spark
If “Dark Side of the Moon” is your favourite album of all time, then you simply must buy “The Big Red Spark”.
The spoken word parts make Hawkwind's “Sonic Attack” sound like Bernard Cribbins reading a fairytale on Jackanory.
Geoff Barton, Classic Rock Presents Prog Magazine
Three years in the making, “The Big Red Spark” is a concept album tour de force – and then some. The world’s smallest prog band (as Tinyfish like to style themselves) have forged an absolute monster, equal parts deeply involving and massively confusing.
Based on a dream vocalist/guitarist Simon Godfrey once had, TBRS tells the tale of a mysterious machine created from the thoughts of mankind. It could be an euphemism for the Internet; it could be something else entirely. All we know for sure is it’s ‘an engine of metal that moves like water..’. See what we mean by confusing? All the familiar Tinyfish traits are here, but amped up to the max. Jim Sanders’ guitar sounds gigantic; the recurring themes reverberate with chilling precision; the spoken word parts sound like they've been lifted from the script of Blade Runner. Or Brazil. Or Metropolis.. even though it was a silent movie. See? That's the twisted effect Tinyfish have on you.
We’ve never given a 9/10 rating in the prog column before, so here goes...
9/10 – Geoff Barton, Classic Rock Magazine
Fusing together a mix of operatic guitar lines, swift dynamic changes and spoken word they have created an album that plays out like a dark futuristic warning and which sounds like the musical H.G.Wells may have written if he had been a young man today, or possibly Jeff Wayne getting to grips with Orwell’s 1984.
They have come a long way since the debut album, with both the songwriting and the Tinyfish sound having been honed to perfection.
The blood sweat and tears that have gone into this album have been well worth it - the album is a triumph and Tinyfish deserve some major recognition for it.
Miles Bartaby - Classic Rock Society
If Tinyfish's 2010 album “The Big Red Spark” doesn't rekindle the flame of at least one or two wonderous science fiction moments from your childhood, quickly have someone check your pulse! Schedule diagnostic tests! Better yet, call an ambulance for immediate medical attention. On second thought, forget it. If this album didn't move you, you're probably already dead.
Without the spoken words there isn’t a concept and well… without concept there isn’t an album.
The spoken words at times remind me of Edgar Alan Poe or even “War of the worlds”. The spoken words are the glue between all the music they surround. And with the thundering music behind it, for instance in “Building the machine”, it’s pretty creepy sounding.
At times bombastic (“The loose ends” or “A million differences”), at times heavy (“Rainland”, “Wide awake at midnight” or “The final act”), at times chilling (“The big red spark”), Tinyfish gives us high quality music. There are no fillers, all tracks have a meaning. “Building the machine” sounds a bit industrial, “I’m not crashing” contains a wonderful guitar solo. And that’s just a few examples. I could go on and on but I rather do not and let each of you undergo the journey yourself.
Conclusion: The perfect album doesn’t exist yet but Tinyfish gets damn close to it. From the first second until the last one you are being treated with top notch musicianship and of course compositions written near perfection. Magnific album guys!
Three years in the making, this was threatening to become the band's “Chinese Democracy”. Now it’s here, was it worth the wait? Without a doubt, yes - this is the prog album of the year.
Musically the albums sounds more like the Tinyfish debut than “Curious Things” and most of the Tinyfish trademarks are there - the multi-layered guitars and vocals, the little bits you don't hear at first but that become apparent on repeated listens and, of course, the spoken word sections.
Tinyfish continue to raise the bar of modern prog and this one sets the standard for others to follow.
Tinyfish is a band that deserved to be known for its true worth. Consider it done. From now on they wriggle with talent and virtuosity in the major bowl.
One Night On Fire
Raised on a diet of Zappa, King Crimson, Marillion, Rush and... ulp... new wave acts such as The Skids, Tinyfish’s music is adventurous, quirky yet at times airily commercial. Unlike so many of their counterparts, they are not afraid of trimming back the notes and allowing sound textures to do the work.
Dave Ling, Classic Rock Magazine
As an overview of the bands two studio albums, this acts as the perfect first port of call, not only a live rendition, but one that maintains a high production quality and the virtuosity of playing needed to do the songs justice. And on the strength of this album I would have to say that progressive rock, for want of a better word, is in particularly safe hands.
The delightful Wrecking Ball is an appealing acoustic ballad which despite the sunny sound includes sharply pointed lyrics about failed relationships, superbly written and performed by Godfrey. Given sufficient air play on mainstream radio it has the potential ingredients to make it as a hit single.
GEOFF FEAKES, Dutch Progressive Rock Pages
Tinyfish are steeped in the finest traditions of British prog. If mellifluous Marillion-isms are your bag, you’ll find plenty to enjoy on this South London combo’s debut album. What sets Tinyfish apart are Rob Ramsay's disconcerting lyrics. Even though they're not cosmically inclined you could compare them to Michael Moorcock's work with Hawkwind. On the title track deep-toned guitar combines with spoken word intonations to create a supernatural vibe. ‘Blue and green solid nightmares rose up out of the dust and floated out to meet us, then faded, crystal fashion,’ we hear. Chilling. From the serene-but-sorrowful Fly Like A Bird to Sundried, where Tinyfish are backed by a subversive string section, this is a rewarding and multi-faceted example of piscatorial prog. 8/10.
Geoff Barton, Classic Rock Magazine
“Motorville [is] a great progressive rock song, with a nice tempo twist between refrain and chorus.” “All Hands Lost is again one of the great tracks of the album. Short guitar loops, a great combination of short guitar loops supported by slow drums, building up with a refrain that is more intense.”