Beardfish - The Sane Day

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Beard Records
Catalog Number: Beard 001/002
Format: CD
Total Time: 111:08:00

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 Gooberville Ballroom Dancer" is one of my favourites, not only because of the great guitar riffs but also because from a vocal point of view it gets so damn close to ACT, another fantastic Swedish ? act. Then again the Beardfish attitude often camps in the backgarden of Liquid Scarlet, too, as both bands deliver infectious tunes. Also Paatos and Anekdoten spring to mind. Throughout this release Beardfish remains loyal to the attitude that they don't exclude anything as long as it fits the atmosphere they want to recreate. So when you put all of the elements together it sounds like a walk through the encyclopedia of "better rock music" whether it's symphonic rock, classic rock, jazzrock, you name it it's there. The musicians each master their respective instruments perfectly creating very infectious music. Another plus is the fact that out of the eighteen tracks on offer here, no less than seven are instrumental. As these pieces are scattered all over this album it results in a pleasant balance which makes listening to the entire input in one go fairly easy.

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 Constructing And/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.

Disc One: A Love Story (12:47) / Sun Is The Devil (2:08) / Mudhill (5:39) / The Gooberville Ballroom Dancer (6:57) / Igloo On Two (6:31) / Tall Tales (9:25) / The Basic Blues (5:18) / The Summit (7:10)

Disc Two: The Sane Day (6:06) / Blue Moon (4:37) / Do You Remember Fun Mom (1:25) / Return To Mudhill (4:46) / Waiting Room (4:37) / Miss Gooberville (0:33) / Mystique Of The Beauty Queen (7:02) / Love Revisited (2:50) / Ask Someone Who Knows (7:54) / The Reason Of Constructing And/Or Building A Pyramid (9:32)

Rikard Sj?blom - vocals, left speaker guitar, organ, keyboards, synthesizers, percussion
David Zackrisson - right speaker guitar, synthesizer, vocals, live sfx
Robert Hansen - bass, guitar, vocals
Magnus ?stgren - drums


Rasmus Diamoant - flute
Christer J?derlund - extra vocals
Lisa Marklund - extra vocals

The Sane Day (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: March 18th 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1863
Language: english


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