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Thread: The Beardfish/Gungfly Challenge

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    The Beardfish/Gungfly Challenge

    I have more time than usual on my hands this weekend and into next week, so last night I started listening to Beardfish. I have the boxed set of albums (and yes, I also have the first album, the 2CD "The Sane Day." I also have the Gungfy box and the two albums that came after it. Last night I only got through The Sane Day and Disk 1 of Sleeping In Traffic Pt 1.

    Slow progress so far BECAUSE, the first disk of The Sane Day is, IMO, nothing special, so I haven't actually made it to disk 2 often. But last night I was BLOWN AWAY by how good disk 2 of The Sane Day is!! Loads of great guitar noodling, and awesome, jazy keyboard parts. It's all or mostly instrumental (I forget if there were vocas on the disk).

    So I really have to start over with Sleeping In Traffic Pt. 1.

    Lots in both boxes that I've never heard. I've been meaning to dedicate some time to all these albums, because while it took me a bit to get into Rikard's music, there seems to be a big payoff. I'm also a big Big Big Train fan, so it'll help me discern Rikard's part in those albums.

    So if anyone else is up for the challenge, join in! Looks like it's all on Spotify, too.

  2. #2
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I have more time than usual on my hands this weekend and into next week, so last night I started listening to Beardfish. I have the boxed set of albums (and yes, I also have the first album, the 2CD "The Sane Day." I also have the Gungfy box and the two albums that came after it. Last night I only got through The Sane Day and Disk 1 of Sleeping In Traffic Pt 1.

    Slow progress so far BECAUSE, the first disk of The Sane Day is, IMO, nothing special, so I haven't actually made it to disk 2 often. But last night I was BLOWN AWAY by how good disk 2 of The Sane Day is!! Loads of great guitar noodling, and awesome, jazy keyboard parts. It's all or mostly instrumental (I forget if there were vocas on the disk).

    So I really have to start over with Sleeping In Traffic Pt. 1.

    Lots in both boxes that I've never heard. I've been meaning to dedicate some time to all these albums, because while it took me a bit to get into Rikard's music, there seems to be a big payoff. I'm also a big Big Big Train fan, so it'll help me discern Rikard's part in those albums.

    So if anyone else is up for the challenge, join in! Looks like it's all on Spotify, too.
    I will start off by saying that (imo) The Sane Day is VERY special, both discs. I didn't love it certainly on first spin but its pretty much a masterpiece of prog to my ears. Wonderfully melodic, killer harmonic vocabulary, wonderful musicianship, vocals, etc. The band was young and Rikard's writing was less "mature" but no less as good - actually I think some of his earliest writing was the best. Do not spin it once and think you "got" it - it's dense and long and need at least 5 spins I think. Amazing record. My other fav is Traffic Part 1....repeat what I said about The Sane Day, except it's one disc. Raw and wonderful - some of my fav prog post-2000. Traffic Part 2 is just not as masterful as Part 1 but it's damn close and seems to be a fan favorite. The first album (in Swedish) is certainly good, but a step down or two from the writing of the subsequent albums imo. The rest are pretty much all killer (Destined Solitaire, The Void, and Comfortzone) might be the next batches of favs for me. Which leaves Mammoth as my least fav, but it's still great. And that is my own personal opinion. The thing about this band is that ALL albums are great and the order in which folks prefer them will be different - which is a strength imo. Killer fucking band that made me beyond sad when they called it quits.

    Gungfly - I am still digging in and in discovery mode but it's all varying degrees of great. Rikard is such a talented and eclectic writer that it's hard to pigeonhole him - he surprises you with what he comes up with. I am very fortunate to own everything he has made and he is so damn good that he will be on autopilot regardless of what he comes up with. My least fav thing he is involved with is Big Big Train, but that's me and not an indication of subpar quality. It's just not my thing for the most part, although I have made inroads somewhat over the past few years.

    Lecture over. Now go spin "Sun is the Devil" and "Sunrise" like 5 times in a row.....some of the greatest tunes I have ever heard by anybody. I wish I had 1/19 of the talent to come up with something that good and original.
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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I will start off by saying that (imo) The Sane Day is VERY special, both discs. I didn't love it certainly on first spin but its pretty much a masterpiece of prog to my ears. Wonderfully melodic, killer harmonic vocabulary, wonderful musicianship, vocals, etc. The band was young and Rikard's writing was less "mature" but no less as good - actually I think some of his earliest writing was the best. Do not spin it once and think you "got" it - it's dense and long and need at least 5 spins I think. Amazing record. My other fav is Traffic Part 1....repeat what I said about The Sane Day, except it's one disc. Raw and wonderful - some of my fav prog post-2000. Traffic Part 2 is just not as masterful as Part 1 but it's damn close and seems to be a fan favorite. The first album (in Swedish) is certainly good, but a step down or two from the writing of the subsequent albums imo. The rest are pretty much all killer (Destined Solitaire, The Void, and Comfortzone) might be the next batches of favs for me. Which leaves Mammoth as my least fav, but it's still great. And that is my own personal opinion. The thing about this band is that ALL albums are great and the order in which folks prefer them will be different - which is a strength imo. Killer fucking band that made me beyond sad when they called it quits.

    Gungfly - I am still digging in and in discovery mode but it's all varying degrees of great. Rikard is such a talented and eclectic writer that it's hard to pigeonhole him - he surprises you with what he comes up with. I am very fortunate to own everything he has made and he is so damn good that he will be on autopilot regardless of what he comes up with. My least fav thing he is involved with is Big Big Train, but that's me and not an indication of subpar quality. It's just not my thing for the most part, although I have made inroads somewhat over the past few years.

    Lecture over. Now go spin "Sun is the Devil" and "Sunrise" like 5 times in a row.....some of the greatest tunes I have ever heard by anybody. I wish I had 1/19 of the talent to come up with something that good and original.
    I completely agree with you on the Sane Day. An absolutely fantastic collection of tunes on BOTH discs.

    Funnily enough one of my least favorite Beardfish rekkids is Sleeping in Traffic pt 1. Never liked South of the Border. Meant funny but isn't. Tune itself is not that special either. Always skip that one. The Epic on the album contains many great pieces but always sounded like pieces glued together. Never worked well as a whole for me. But there is great stuff on the album too of course.

    The only Rikkard album (of the ones I have) that never did anything for me is Gungfly - Lamentations. I thought On her Journey to the sun was an excellent collection of pop/rock tunes but on Lamentations i just dunno what he was trying to achieve.

    Anyway, its a long time ago since I listened to both Sleeping pt1 and Lamentations so my assignment for the week is re-listen to those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post

    Funnily enough one of my least favorite Beardfish rekkids is Sleeping in Traffic pt 1. Never liked South of the Border. Meant funny but isn't. Tune itself is not that special either. Always skip that one. The Epic on the album contains many great pieces but always sounded like pieces glued together. Never worked well as a whole for me. But there is great stuff on the album too of course.
    Looks like you're talking about Sleeping In Traffic Part 2 here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeFrog View Post
    Looks like you're talking about Sleeping In Traffic Part 2 here.
    Ops! me bad! Shows thats its too long ago since I heared them.

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I completely agree with you on the Sane Day. An absolutely fantastic collection of tunes on BOTH discs.

    Funnily enough one of my least favorite Beardfish rekkids is Sleeping in Traffic pt 1. Never liked South of the Border. Meant funny but isn't. Tune itself is not that special either. Always skip that one. The Epic on the album contains many great pieces but always sounded like pieces glued together. Never worked well as a whole for me. But there is great stuff on the album too of course.

    The only Rikkard album (of the ones I have) that never did anything for me is Gungfly - Lamentations. I thought On her Journey to the sun was an excellent collection of pop/rock tunes but on Lamentations i just dunno what he was trying to achieve.

    Anyway, its a long time ago since I listened to both Sleeping pt1 and Lamentations so my assignment for the week is re-listen to those.
    The reasons you stated about Traffic Part 2 (yes, it's part 2) are exactly the reasons why I prefer Traffic Part 1. I love parts of the big monster title track on Traffic Part 2 but there are also less than fantastic moments. South of the Border wears out its welcome for me after a few spins but it's pretty funny in a warped FZ type of humor. The other tunes on Part 2 are as good as anything Rikard ever wrote - all classics including Into the Night, Cashflow, and The Hunter. Amazing stuff!

    Also - don't give up on Lamentations just yet....yes it's more singer/songwriter type of approach compared to BF (and the two latest Gungfly records) but there is some stellar stuff on that album. I will be curious to see what you think of Traffic Part 1 after a revisit or two.

    Here is a fantastic tune from Lamentations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGadf7sFf5U

    And a killer live-in-the-studio version of Love and War, Pt 2: Lucky Star: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E29R3TgkK_U
    Last edited by chalkpie; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:27 AM.
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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I will be curious to see what you think of Traffic Part 1 after a revisit or two.
    Oh, i always loved part 1. Probably 3th spot after Sane day and Destined Solitaire for me. I just got the two albums mixed up in my head.

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    When you are done I will see if we can arrange for Rikard to jump out of a cake for you.

  9. #9
    I feel a bit guilty for not having properly listened to these fellows yet. I don't know what has been stopping me. Frank's strong recommendation is reason enough for me, since I agree with 95% of his musical preferences. I don't have to like it, but I have to give it a better chance.

    I'll go with Destined Solitaire and see what comes up.

  10. #10
    You'll have to add one more Gungfly album to the challenge. This was posted by Inside Out Music this morning:

    "Rikard Sjöblom's Gungfly will release their new album Alone Together on the 4th September 2020. It follows extremely productive past few years, whether it be working with English progressive rockers Big Big Train, or taking the lead with Gungfly.

    "Rikard comments: 'I started writing these songs about a year ago but then it took some time to get started with the production because I had two tours lined up, one with Big Big Train in November and then opening solo for The Flower Kings on their European tour in December. After that my focus shifted back to Gungfly and it felt really nice so it all came together pretty fast!' ”
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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    As a big fan of all Rikard's music, I'm anxiously awaiting my review copy of Alone Together! Will be a lot of fun to go through, I'm sure. Here's my collection: (photo taken before Friendship was released)

    beardfish cds.jpg
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  12. #12
    ^Att För Barn Som Tror På Sagor Läsa Högt När Kvällen Kommer (cut and paste is your friend here!) is worth seeking out, too. I think it's only available as part of the Rumbling Boxes collection. Has sort of a disco vibe to it.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polmico View Post
    ^Att För Barn Som Tror På Sagor Läsa Högt När Kvällen Kommer (cut and paste is your friend here!) is worth seeking out, too. I think it's only available as part of the Rumbling Boxes collection. Has sort of a disco vibe to it.
    Yes a great album! So is Bootcut De Fluff...what does this guy drink to make him magical? Autobuy on the new Gungfly!!!!

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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polmico View Post
    ^Att För Barn Som Tror På Sagor Läsa Högt När Kvällen Kommer (cut and paste is your friend here!) is worth seeking out, too. I think it's only available as part of the Rumbling Boxes collection. Has sort of a disco vibe to it.
    Yeah, I had hoped he would issue that separately later, I really don't need the rest of that boxed set.
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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Lamentations still getting the spin....I really dig it

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    "Note" is a masterpiece composition. On "paper" it's just a 15-minute prog epic, but when you start to really analyze and absorb the content, it's a proper composition that can be taken apart, placed under a microscope, and studied if you were so inclined. But the beautiful thing is that it also doesn't have to be - it's just a great tune also you can spin with a few pals sipping a brew or whisky. Themes, formal structure, harmonic ingenuity, masterful playing, great production, etc it's all there. I freely admit that I merely thought it was an OK Beardfish tune - maybe a little on the long side - probably the first five or so times I spun it. But then something happened....nowadays I view it as a masterpiece that continually feeds my imagination and penchant for exquisitely composed music, even though it happens to be placed in the "prog" genre. If you played this for any music composition professor, they would have to spend some time to get a grasp on what is happening in that 15 minutes. There is no bigger endorsement I can give this tune - if you only listen to The Void for this tune only (and you shouldn't - it's a wonderful album that grows on you like a bad fungus), then it's still worth it.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  17. #17
    I must confess, I’ve never listened to The Void in its entirety. I really need to though, I mean it’s still Beardfish after all.

    Thanks for sharing your insights on “Note”. I remember that being the song that stood out on the album, so I’m going to revisit it soon.

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    I must confess, I’ve never listened to The Void in its entirety. I really need to though, I mean it’s still Beardfish after all.

    Thanks for sharing your insights on “Note”. I remember that being the song that stood out on the album, so I’m going to revisit it soon.
    The Void definitely did not hit me right away. In my initial discovery phase, I wasn't really enamoured with the sound of the thing, especially coming from the early albums. But with time I began to realize that they just changed (which is a good thing of course) and it's another angle of how Rikard and the lads were approaching their music. In a nutshell its a fantastic album from soup to nuts and has more grungy, metallic overtones/undertones than before, but the quirky stuff still exists, its just not as apparent. Beautiful production too, especially the rhythm section. Don't miss it man!

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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    The Void definitely did not hit me right away. In my initial discovery phase, I wasn't really enamoured with the sound of the thing, especially coming from the early albums. But with time I began to realize that they just changed (which is a good thing of course) and it's another angle of how Rikard and the lads were approaching their music. In a nutshell its a fantastic album
    I'm right there with you. I had a tinge of disappointment when that one came out, it just didn't seem to have the appeal of their previous work. But like countless great albums, it grew on me in a big way and I absolutely love it now. Probably top 3 for me.
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    After the recent praise for "Note" I decided to gave a specific listen to this song. It is good! I've been avoiding "The void" for I don't know what reasons. Good that I still will have to explore it...!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Beautiful production too, especially the rhythm section. Don't miss it man!
    Ach! I feel just the opposite. Songwise, it's definitely up there for me. "Note" is my favorite Beardfish song.

    But the brittle, bright production just doesn't work for me.

    I'll take Destined Solitaire for the win.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polmico View Post
    Ach! I feel just the opposite. Songwise, it's definitely up there for me. "Note" is my favorite Beardfish song.

    But the brittle, bright production just doesn't work for me.

    I'll take Destined Solitaire for the win.
    I thought The Void was 'yer fav BF? Or do you mean DS in terms of sonics for the win? I think the production on both is quite good. Not sure what system you are playing that disc (or is it the LP) on but I hear no sense of anything extra bright or brittle? Or maybe my ears are long in the...tooth...? Anyway, we all hear things differently so that's all kewl and all that stuff. Love the album, production disagreement aside.
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  23. #23
    ^ I'll usually take DS over The Void these days, though I guess my opinion probably flips from time to time.

    Something about the harshness of the guitar. That's what I'm hearing, and it sort of takes over the sonics.

    But, hey, it's a great album!
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

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    Clearly The Void has a bright, harsh production, apparently a deliberate choice by the band.

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    I seriously must be losing frequency ranges because I don't hear any harshness at all....both from the actual CD and if I stream it. I could name 100+ prog albums that are harsher on my ears personally. But hey it's all cool. I wonder if the vinyl is any different? Anybody have the LP?
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

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