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Beardfish - Sleeping In Traffic - Part One CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.05 | 460 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is the first and only Beardfish album I have yet heard. I was expecting these Swedes to sound more Gentle Giant-y based on what I read about them. This band does seem to fit into that 'retro prog' tag but unlike most retro bands these guys make good use of their influences. They mix those influences in such a way that nothing sounds directly derivative, but at the same time nothing sounds completely original either. The sound, playing and compositions are strong in general.

The album opens with some French style accordion playing, which leads into "Sunrise." This song reminds me of a few groups. After a bombastic opening settles into piano and vocals, with other instruments joining. Gets GG sounding around 3 minutes. Love the vocal effect before 5 minutes. Nice synth solo later. Backwards effects at the end. "Afternoon Conversation" is ballad-like with cool tom-toms. I like the disco hi-hat parts in "And Never Know" but generally think it's one of the weaker songs.

"Roulette" is the longest and best song. Love the electric piano sounds here. The synth work is kinda dated sounding but well played nonetheless. The main part of the song sounds like an electric piano based ballad from the 1970s. Like the circus-like organ and vocals playing in unison after 4 minutes. The 'chorus' part is fairly memorable. Great bass and drumming around the 9 minute mark. I don't like the spoken word section before the great accordion solo; sounds too preachy and forced. But maaan does that accordion solo make up for it!

"Dark Poet" is a nice little piano-based ballad but not much more. "Harmony" starts off very Canterbury sounding. After a minute goes into bluesy ballad territory with some jazzy elements. The singing is very 'soul'-ful. In the middle gets more GG sounding. Later goes back to the bluesy ballad part which seems to be influenced by Zeppelin. "The Ungodly Slob" starts with some kind of African music and then quickly switches to bluesy funk-rock (as opposed to funky blues-rock). Around a minute turns more GG sounding. Then almost Gong sounding. Nice synth playing. Love the organ dominated part starting before 3 minutes. 3 1/2 minutes gets more funky again with some almost African sounding melodies thrown in.

Later gets more dramatic and intense, almost Genesis sounding. Afterwards some good electric piano and drumming. Great instrumental. You can listen to "Year Of The Knife" here on PA. Great clavinet here. Almost sounds like a cross between GG and Zeppelin for most of the song. Nice string section near the end before jazzy drums and effects. "Without You" is similar to "Dark Poet" but acoustic guitar focused. Reminds me of another song but can't think of it.

"Same Old Song" begins very Steely Dan sounding. Gets more ballady and less Dan sounding. Love the 'chorus' part with the fuzz guitar and vocals in unison. Afterwards some nice drumming and bass playing along with a piano solo. Cool guitar solo in the middle which gets panned back and forth. Over halfway goes into more moody symphonic prog territory. The guitar playing reminds me of Floyd's "Echoes." Listening to this album was not a life-changing event for me, but it made me want to hear Sleeping In Traffic Part Two which I plan on doing in the near future. Great modern prog but nothing original or groundbreaking. I'll give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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