H30+ is the spinoff band from Ian Crichton, the lead guitarist for Canadian prog legends Saga.
ALBUM: Welcome To The Boom Boom Room
SERIAL: MAG CD 30
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Ian Crichton – guitars * Pat Kilbride – bass * Paul DeLong – drums * Paul MacAusland – vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Harmony * 02 Touch ‘n Go * 03 Toy Town * 04 Change * 05 Tuesday * 06 In Your Hands * 07 This Time * 08 Shades Of Blue * 09 To The Edge * 10 Do It * 11 Mr. Skin * 12 Pumpkin Patch * 13 Trust Your Heart
H30+ is the spinoff band from Ian Crichton, the lead guitarist for Canadian prog legends Saga. H30+ also went under the handle of the Ian Crichton Band, who were in operation during the mid-late 90’s. Crichton was doing double shifts at the time as Saga were still very active during this period, plus he was involved with British band Asia between 1998 and 1999.
How does one describe H30+? Well for starters it’s absolutely not a Saga doppelganger. The band is an expression and outlet of musical ideas that don’t fit the mould of his day job. Given this is from 1995, dare I say there are a few modern influences from that era included here which are definitely not prog. The feature here is the prominent lead guitar work from Crichton which is off the charts at times.
Joining Ian on this album are singer Paul MacAusland (Haywire), bassist Pat Kilbride and drummer Paul DeLong (Domenica Troiano Band). Listening to this you get the impression that this is ‘live in the studio’ stuff, such is its raw and unstructured state.
‘Touch N Go’ borrows a few ideas from Neal Schon‘s vast solo career. Some good ideas on what is an understated groovy number. Both’ Harmony’ and ‘Toy Town’ are riff laden vocal tracks, though there are some interesting change up moments to be found.
Take a listen to the instrumental free-form noodling on ‘Tuesday’ or the completely obtuse ‘In Your Hands’ which is a bit Jekyll and Hyde with its melodic acoustica overtaken at times by some spellbinding solo work. ‘Shades Of Blue’ takes the listener to a higher place without the need for substances.. if you know what I mean.
There are two versions of the same album out there under different names and released by two different labels (Magada and Hypnotic Records). Some clever person has put all the tracks for this album up on YouTube, so you’ll be able to listen to them there, if not find them on a streaming service somewhere. Refer to the YT Playlist.
Ian also releases a 1997 solo album ‘Ghettos By Design’ under his own name and featuring a different lineup. At the time of writing, Ian is pursuing a power trio project called Six By Six alongside
Robert Berry and Nigel Glockler from Saxon. They’ve got a 2022 album released on Inside Out Music which I’ll be looking at. For H30+, this is for fans of off the wall guitar and oddball hard rock.
Shades Of Blue