HEY, PROG NERDS: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BEARDFISH?
When a press release dropped last week about a new song “The Platform” by a Swedish band called Beardfish I thought to myself, “Hmm, Vince Neilstein… Beardfish. Beardfish. Isn’t that the band that Mike Portnoy loves? Beardfish… hmm.” And yes, indeed, they are. A little research on this here weblog turned up long since smoked-away ones and zeroes, confirming that Beardfish were slated to open for Dream Theater on the Progressive Nation 2009 tour (not the year with Opeth and BTBAM) but had to drop off because their label lost funding. I remember not liking them very much when I checked them out following the original Prog Nation 2009 tour announcement, but decided I’d give ’em another go this time around.
And you know what? Beardfish 2k11 are pretty good. They remind me of King Crimson and Yes in their best, most coherent moments, a little bit more hard rockin’ than KC and a little less noodlin’ than Yes for a modern take on prog rock with a clear nod to the past. Good songs, great sense of melody, excellent but subdued chops. That’s my take on “The Platform,” anyway, which is streaming at ProgArchives.com.
Be warned: you may find the vocal style a bit off-putting. A tad wussy, perhaps. This coming from a guy (me) who generally does not require growled vocals and scoffs at those who do. But the more I listen to this track the more OK with these vocals I become and the more I realize this is just plain ol’ heavy prog rock that isn’t trying to be metal. And that’s fine.
“The Platform” makes me plenty curious to hear the rest of Beardfish’s forthcoming album Mammoth, which comes out March 29th in North America and thereabouts elsewhere. Pre-order it here if you’re a big Beardfish fan or enjoy taking a gamble.