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Beardfish - The Sane Day CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 299 ratings

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5 stars This is Beardfish.

While it may not be their most consistant or mature album, The Sane Day is Beardfish in full style. I was not initially impressed with The Sane Day as I was with Sleeping in Traffic pt 2 and Destined Solitaire, but as I became more familiar with Beardfish, this album started to shine as my favorite. This is full, unrestrained Beardfish. This ambitious double LP comes right after their debut, early enough that they still have an "anything goes" attitude. Rikard and gang simply had too many good ideas ready for a single disc and therefore opted for the double album. The playing here is not as refined or skilled as in later albums but the song writing and ideas are most unique here. A few highlights:

Beginning with A Love Story, the album kicks off with a story about a chump who is left by his girlfriend and simply cannot continue to live. He will even DO THE DISHES if it meant he could have her back. This song is exactly the kind of song beardfish is known for. Great use of hammond organ, jam sections, non-repetition, and of course not taking themselves too seriously. It really plays out like a story. And it seems so unabashedly honest it might just be a true story.

Gooberville Ballroom Dancer is unmistankenly Beardfish-esque. This is an early example in the vein of the South of the Border joke song with heavy influence from Zappa. "Dwight was a filthy mother ..%*(*. " It is an overtop ludacris song full of narrative and oddball characters. The crunchy guitar riffs and interesting (sometimes goofy) vocal melodies keep it interesting after many plays. The instrumental portion of this song is undeniably excellent.

The second side contains many shorter, mellodic songs toward the beginning, and instrumentals toward the end. Every one of these are pretty great. For instance, Now starts out very meloncholy with long organ chords as the guitar slides in and out of tones. Halfway through the song it welcomes something different as a Tangerine Dream type arpeggiator and a lighter guitar riff transfers the song into a much more optimistic mood. Ask Someone Who Knows is a great instrumental piece. There are so many textures of keys and guitar work interweaving throughout this piece. Rikard is a master of melodies on the keys, and it really stands out here. The song transitions from thought to thought in interesting and powerful ways. The end is particularly haunting as the organ plays a dilapidated carnival theme and the evil clown returns from 'Easy Money' to laugh at you again (basically).

This may not be the best introduction to Beardfish (see Sleeping in Traffic pt. 2) but this is certainly the most Beardfish-sounding album and probably their best work. This is the album I return to the most. I think it touches on every facet of the character of the band and strong melodies and songwriting can outweigh bombastic playing anyday (See Mammoth). I am hesitant to give the masterpiece rating but I will round up from 4.5. It is well-deserved. Essential work of modern progressive rock.

bloodnarfer | 5/5 |


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