Beardfish — Sleeping in Traffic: Part One
(Inside Out Music SPV-79492/IOMCD-277, 2007, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01Over the years there have been so many “next great things” in progressive rock that the phrase has lost meaning. The world is big enough, and prog varied enough, that there are always good things coming along if you know where to look. Case in point: Beardfish. This inventive Swedish band, now on their third album, have a really appealing take on classic prog meeting the new century. They range effortlessly from delicate acoustic passages to frightening intensity, all handled in a tasty way that avoids clichés without actually departing from recognizable rock sounds, except for some nicely done psychedelic freakout moments worked in here and there. Sure you can hear bits and pieces of the past (Genesis, Crimson, Gentle Giant, Camel, the Beatles and so on), but it’s stirred up so well that it never sounds anything but original. The singing is strong, the lyrics (all in English) are good, and all the players acquit themselves admirably without being spotlight hogs. Just when you think you’ve got a song figured out, something new comes along that surprises you even while it makes perfect sense. I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying that Beardfish seems to me what you might get if an “accessible” prog band like Saga had turned away from the mainstream a bit more. This is easily one of the best prog discoveries of recent years, and I’m confident that Part Two will be another winner.
Related artist(s): Beardfish
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