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




Eclectic Prog

4.18 | 706 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars With a special delivery of heavy eclectic prog from Sweden, Sleeping in Traffic II is a fun and well-played album from a maturing band. Although the entire album is not great, there are lots of fun, rocking bits with just enough prog thrown in to really make this an album worth having.

And that 35 minute epic? Well, no worries--it's a home run in my book!

The bulk of this album (non-epic) is fairly solid, yet somewhat forgettable, music that oscillates between heavy guitar and keys to sometimes goofy, silly bits, with perhaps too many atmospherics and sound effects in between. Cashflow is a good example for me, with some good melodies and genuinely interesting music, but a bit too much filler and noise mixed in. South of the Border is a definite highlight of the album, which tells an amusing story about your typical office horn-dog who just happens to be sexually confused. More importantly, the music is very solid, with some catchy guitar lines and Rikard really letting loose on some of the vocals.

On to the epic! I suppose this is less an epic and more like a very well-connected, cohesive mini-album--although I suppose at this length it could be a full album by Gentle Giant or Rush standards. Either way, they've really accomplished something impressive here by pulling it all together so well. Things start off simply but effectively, with a fat bass line 7/4 time, building up some of the central themes nicely from there. I have to agree with some that the momentum varies a bit in the first 10 minutes or so, with plenty of rock, but also reflective moments. I'm fine with this as long as the music is good and it's ultimately going somewhere even better, which is the case here.

The second half is even better, with of course the unique contribution to the prog canon of disco pirate rock. I even like the die-down right before the big finale. Usually I'm not a big fan of this, but maybe it's because the tempo is still brisk, even though it's only guitar and vocal. Then the massive, cathartic refrain comes in, seemingly tying things up nicely, only to change gears once again. Here's where even after 35 minutes, I still want more. Now that they've built to this wonderful finale, and taken it that next step, to have it just peter out the way it does is not ideal. That can be the difference between great and incredible.

On this album, Beardfish have a really good sound. I have questions about how it would translate live (vocal straining, overdubs, etc), but it works well here. Here's hoping that Beardfish continue to create ambitious, fun and catchy music.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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