Beardfish
Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two


4.0
excellent


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "The rhythm's got me by the balls, so to say."

Progressive rock, for the most part, is a pretty earnest genre. In tackling grand lyrical themes, 20-minute-runtime operatic epics, and complex instrumental wankery, prog artists tend to lend a very serious tone to their music; this tendency applies even more so to neo-progressive revival acts, intent upon matching the scope of majesty accomplished by the great masters of old. In doing so, however, they often sacrifice a quality endemic to much simpler genres: fun. Sure, they could be having all the fun in the world playing, recording, and performing said music, but more often than not this aspect does not translate as readily to the listener. A notable exception to this trend is the now-defunct Swedish neo-progressive group Beardfish and their 2008 album "Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two."

The album works as a follow-up to Beardfish’s previous effort, aptly named "Sleeping in Traffic: Part One." Both records follow the joint concept of a man’s journey during a 24-hour period; the former goes through his day, the latter through his night. Here, Beardfish takes the listener across the staples of night life: hooking up in bar bathrooms, drug-fueled benders, one-night stands, and wild dreams of crossing the globe. The fairly simple rock track South of the Border even has the band toying with the racy, Zappa-esque subject matter of a man who unsuspectingly sleeps with a drag queen.

Throughout the entirety of the record, Beardfish maintains a undeniably fun and bouncy tone. Frontman and musical mastermind Rikard Sjöblom’s impassioned vocals take center stage but never overshadow the skillful performance of his bandmates. An abundance of head-bobbing grooves and unsuspecting, amusing moments has the listener with a smile on their lips for a great portion of the runtime. The title track - at a whopping 35 minutes in length, and a worthy experience unto itself - sees the band combining gentle acoustic passages, Southern rock riffs, hasty Western symphony, short bouts of disco, sea shanties, and an accordion-driven ballad. The band plays with laudable cohesion and pacing and sound like they’re enjoying the hell out of it.

Flaws are certainly present, most notably the album length. A couple of the tracks leading up to the climactic title track can feel somewhat sluggish in comparison. More than a few moments have the band leaning a bit too hard on its prog influences as well. However, these imperfections hardly impede the listener’s enjoyment throughout the experience. Beardfish have more well realized albums, sure, but their clever fusion of the liveliness and lack of pretension of rock n’ roll with the ambition and complexity of progressive rock makes "Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two" a worthwhile slice of fun for any fan of the genre.


user ratings (110)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
LeddSledd
December 4th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My first review! Feedback very welcome



Thought this needed a review in some way or another, very underrated in the scope of modern prog.

Digging: The Chariot - One Wing

porcupinetheater
December 4th 2020


5069 Comments


Nice, Ledd! Really good work for a first review. Obviously sentence flow is a bit stiff here and there, but that's the sort of thing that'll fall into place naturally with practice once you start getting more of a feel for your voice. Which I hope'll happen, cause you got a good starting place here!

Concise, clear, unifying thesis, gives a sense of the record - big ups, Mate.

And agreed Beardfish perpetually need more love, definitely one of the better neo-proggers

parksungjoon
December 4th 2020


25751 Comments


>More than a few moments has the band leaning a bit too hard on its prog influences as well

minor typo, should be have

>Beardfish have more realized albums, sure, but

would probably work better as "more well realised" or "beter realised"

good first effort! could go into a bit more depth/detail but you'll get the hang of it as you write more i'm sure. pos'd

Digging: Government - Shitshitshit [japanese death poem]

LeddSledd
December 4th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed! Thanks for looking it over bros. Been thinking about doing this for a while and finally got around to it when I couldn't sleep. Shall take the feedback into consideration on my next go-around.

Jethro42
December 4th 2020


16209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love me some Beardfish. I thought I had this at a 4.5 just like Mammoth and The Void. I relisten to it at the moment. I remember how appealing are the songs, especially ''The Hunter'' and the title track.

Good review judged from a francophone point of view.

Jethro42
December 4th 2020


16209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also like how ''Sunrise Again'' is a nod and a wink to both ''Sunrise'' and the end of ''Same Old Song'' from Sleeping part 1.

LeddSledd
December 4th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Jethro! The Hunter is a great, simple jam and that bass line is groovy as hell. Love the bassist for this band, so much personality. And yeah the cyclical outro is great and really effectively conveys the melancholy of a sunrise after a long, memorable night

Jethro42
December 5th 2020


16209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn straight, dude. Plus ''The Hunter'' is very memorable. Beardfish quite reminds me of some Echolyn. Try Suffocating The Bloom or Cowboy Poems Free if you haven't already. I see you haven't rated any Anekdoten neither. You surely know them...?

LeddSledd
December 5th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heard of 'em! Not sure I've peeped either, though. If it's anything like Beardfish I'll enjoy them for sure. Thanks for the rec.

normaloctagon
December 5th 2020


3819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rly pleased to see a review from you ledd



fantastic writing, a very enjoyable read. I will add this album to my list

Digging: Madvillain - Madvillainy

LeddSledd
December 5th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you kindly, broski. Hope you enjoy em, Beardfish is a whole ton o' fun

porcupinetheater
December 5th 2020


5069 Comments


Oh man, never noticed the 3.9 train they had going lol

Destined Solitaire’s still probably the best they’ve done, but this and The Void are up there

LeddSledd
December 5th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd still put this and Mammoth as their top two but any Beardfish is fine by me

parksungjoon
December 5th 2020


25751 Comments


jethro lives!

Jethro42
December 5th 2020


16209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here and there!

e210013
December 6th 2020


3166 Comments


Nice to see a review of this band and especially of this album.

It was nice to reed your review, especially because it was your baptism of fire here on Sputnik. Welcome to the team. Especially because we are talking about a review of a prog album. Besides, this needed one. Nice work, man. Pos.

LeddSledd
December 7th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the kind words! Glad to finally get one out there, certainly not to the best of my abilities but I hope to improve as I go on



Also yeah, I was mostly prompted to write this 'cause I was a bit taken aback by the fact that it was lacking a review

hel9000
Contributing Reviewer
December 7th 2020


935 Comments


nice review Ledd!

Digging: Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

LeddSledd
December 8th 2020


3037 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gracias, my dude

DivergentThinking
December 22nd 2020


6896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome writeup, man... it's kinda hard to believe that this never got a review before



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