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Beardfish - The Sane Day CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 268 ratings

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4 stars There's a lot of music to wade through here; 2 cd's and not far short of 2 hours of listening time so naturally it took a while for me to get my head around it all. It was worth the perseverance though as The Sane Day, the second album from Beardfish is an excellent release. I discovered this retrospectively having thoroughly enjoyed Sleeping in Traffic: Part 1 and although I don't rate this one quite so highly (but almost) if you enjoyed that one you'll want this too.

Beardfish are a pretty unique band. With so many post seventies Prog bands trying to sound like the seventies Prog giants it's refreshing to hear a band with a bit of originality to their sound. Having said that, paradoxically they do sound like they've stepped right out of the seventies but that's more to do with the overall sound and instrumentation of the band rather than sounding like anyone in particular. Their music is very quirky; Zappa comes to mind at times and whilst this music is firmly in the Progressive Rock camp they appear not afraid to show their Pop influences too.

A Love Song opens the album and it also happens to be the best track which could be construed as it goes downhill from here but that's not really the case as there's still much to enjoy. It's simply that it's such an excellent track and at nearly 13 minutes gives the band ample opportunity to show their chops. Starting off with a beautiful Piano intro which gives way to some lush Hammond as the band come in on a piece full of dynamics, great melodies and instrumental workouts.

There's quite a few instrumental tracks, mostly on disc 2 and some may feel that with a bit of editing it would have made a stronger single disc album. However my view is the album works well as it is, the instrumental tracks adding well to the overall flow, some being quite short forming nice bridges to the next track.

Apart from the excellent opening track highlights include The Gooberville Ballroom Dancer - definite Zappa influences here in places as well as having one of their heavier most driving guitar riffs. The first instrumental to appear, Igloo on Two is also one of the best, melodic, time/tempo changes aplenty to keep it interesting and many diverse keyboard sounds. Tall Tales and The Summit, two of the longer tracks are also very entertaining. Diverse use of instrumentation once again, effective use of dynamics; Beardfish know the importance of leaving spaces between the notes allowing the music to breathe making the heavier moments seem more intense.

On disc 2, opener and title track The Sane Day is a lovely melancholic piano dominated piece aided by some tasteful and subtle guitar and bass and brush work on the drums. In contrast, Blue Moon which follows contains one of their catchiest vocal melodies and is more up tempo ending with a dirty sounding driving guitar riff; excellent stuff! The Jazz tones of Waiting Room offer more diversification, once again those Zappa influences coming through. Love Revisited is a lovely instrumental revisiting the opening track A Love Story, played solely on piano. Now has a beautifully melancholic (once again) chord progression, Rikard Sjoblom showing as on many other tracks what a great vocalist he is with a strong grasp of melody.

From the number of reviews on this site for all the Beardfish albums I guess they're not yet that well known yet but I would recommend anyone who enjoys seventies Prog with a lot of originality to check them out and with a new album due in a few days (from the time of writing) it's a good time to give them a try. This really is excellent, timeless and an eclectic mix of music and Beardfish deserve to be a big success.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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