This album (EP, actually) is named 4 ½ because it is an ‘interim release’ between Steven Wilson’s fourth album Hand.Cannot.Erase and his upcoming fifth studio album. It contains songs that didn’t make it on the Hand.Cannot.Erase album which was released in 2015, plus a song that was meant for the album The Raven That Refused To Sing. A lot of members who were involved with Wilson’s solo band over the years are contributing on the album; Adam Holzman (keyboards/piano), Nick Beggs (bass/chapman stick), Guthrie Govan (guitars), Dave Kilminster (guitars), Craig Blundell (drums & percussion), Marco Minnemann (drums & percussion), Chad Wackerman (drums & percussion), and Theo Travis (flute/saxophone). It’s 37 minutes long, it could almost go for a full album.
I never had the chance to see drummer Marco Minnemann and guitarist Guthrie Govan perform with The Aristocrats, although I’ve seen them perform live as members of Steven Wilson’s solo band. I was also very curious how bassist Bryan Beller would play and sound like because this would be the first time I would see him live. I had the honour to interview all members of the band right before their gig, you can listen to the interview here.