BEARDFISH "The Sane day"
great music! This is what progressive rock should sound like today.
Beardfish has done the thing I have been waiting for a long time. Progressive
rock instead of "retrogressive prog-rock".
In every type of music there are certain basic elements that one can
learn very easily.
Well, Beardfish is something different. Surely you can hear influences
of Zappa, GG and Yes,
Beardfish is the modern answer to Spocks Beard & Flower Kings.
All things must pass. The future is here. Hopefully."
"A lot of people out there don't seem to get my particular brand of mental illness, something that my particular brand of psychosis lays firmly at their door. But on the rare days that my brain patterns flit into something approaching normality, then this is fairly representative of the noises I hear in my head.
Now, I'm no expert on the world of Swedish prog, but this appears to be a reissue of an album that Beardfish put out themselves a couple of years ago. So, a big thanks to Progress Records for aiming it my way. You see, this is truly progressive rock in all its finest double album glory.
I can't even pretend to imagine what was going through the heads of the ludicrously talented Beardfish when they were laying down the likes of 'The Gooberville Ballroom Dancer', but I like to delude myself into thinking it went along the lines of "how many piranhas would it take to eat all the cheese out of the Sugababes, past and present members".
For sure, they reach back into the seventies netherworld of prog, but they have such a forward looking take on it, that the little nods towards Camel and Gentle Giant are rather endearing, especially when they crush it under the boot of an almighty riff. Which happens more than you would think across the nineteen delicious songs spread over the two discs.
It's just so gosh darned good, that it's pretty much ruined me for much else since first hearing the joys of 'Mystique Of The Beauty Queen' and 'The Reason Of Constructing And/Or Building A Pyramid'. Ooh, and I nearly forget, opening track 'A Love Story' is just sooo Thijs van Leer! Gits. How dare they be this good. Now that I think about it, this is the kind of record that makes me crawl into a hole, desolate at the futility of my own existence.
But if you can stomach your own shortcomings, then this is a CD you
"I'm amazed, i'm satisfied and utterly impressed by these fine musicians!
This is a superb double masterpiece!!"
Rating: 5 of 6 planets
"It doesn't take you very long in order to fall in love with both the recording and band.
What Beardfish delivers here is simply a proglover's orgasm fuelled by tons of interesting hooks and seventies influences. In fact what you hear is a concoction of elements too numerous to mention. The synth solo in "A Love Story" sounds like an unreleased recording by the late Peter Bardens whilst the electric piano refers to the Canterbury scene and the constant supply of Hammond organ takes you back to the end of the sixties beginning of the seventies. Also soundwise this production is a sheer delight, wanting you to constantly push the repeat button. It's not because I place the main influences dating back to the heydays of the progressive genre that this release sounds dated because it doesn't. The Sane Day is very much an album that merits its place in the current stream of qualitative rock releases. When you listen to this album you can't help but think about a lot of major bands who all leave their mark. Whether it is the authentic prog of King Crimson, Gentle Giant or Jethro Tull; the folky world of Bo Hansson; the jazzy inclinations of Mats & Morgan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker or Dizzy Gillespie; the zany relics of Frank Zappa; the more pop oriented genius of The Beatles, The Doors or Queen; the more recent sounds of Radiohead or Soundgarden or the more psychedelic material from Pretty Things or Made in Sweden, Beardfish has enough musical knowledge to use their influences like a chef uses a zillion different spices to create his own recipe crowning him to become masterchef. If you serve Beardfish then for sure you will be masterchef, too!
"Expect the unexpected" is what goes through my mind as the
perfect description for this album.
The second disc starts in a very dramatic way with the laidback titletrack
which mainly features electric piano. The same instrument also plays
an important role in the uptempo "Return To Mudhill," which
also sports some great sounding synths, delivering images of Camel,
Happy the Man and Hatfield and the North with Focus stepping in once
the organ starts to roar. From a vocal point of view Beardfish does
approach singing like pure acrobatics. Just listen to "Mystique
Of The Beauty Queen" for a prime example, with the added wailing
guitar slotted in as a bonus. Needless to say this song gets ever so
close to genuine Zappa material. With "The Reason Of ConstructingAnd/Or
Building A Pyramid," Beardfish puts all of its technical skills
into one composition, delivering a superb finale to this incredible
output. I have listened to this double album several times and never
have found one single dull moment. I love what I hear as Beardfish tackles
all kinds of atmospheres. The quality of the compositions, arrangements
as well as the actual performance, everything is top notch and can easily
compete with the bigger names in the genre. Maybe like the Stiff tour
in the seventies, the current "new wave" of Swedish prog should
organize a joint tour. This Beardfish together with the likes of Moon
Safari, Liquid Scarlet, ACT and Paatos could make a nice package. Now
put those heads together and start planning."