By Josh Turner
This is neither the former frontman from Marillion nor Neal Morse’s past band. It is too unusual to use as a translation device by Arthur Dent either. Yet, there is one clear comparison. We all know Porcupine Tree is not exactly Progressive Rock, but we like it anyhow.
This is similar to that popular, spear-infested mammal. It’s as if that armadillo fell from its perch and rolled around in an amalgamate of the genres’ best. The compositions also cross the lands of Kansas, Kevin Gilbert, Eyestrings, Pineapple Thief, The Beatles, and Yes. Taking it a step further, there is a hint of Owsley, Echolyn, and maybe even Tom Brislin’s Spiraling in there too.
In truth, this scraggly-haired guinea pig runs the gambit. Their melodies are off-beat and atypical but not so much in an avant-garde sense. However, there is satire within this rodent’s hard and tempered shell.
I liked every song, but the epic, “Roulette”, in my opinion is the hands-down winner and highlight.
“Year of the Knife” with its long teeth and jagged edges is also another sharp favorite. Before its final con job, this mover and shaker, nomadic vagabond and ambulatory itinerant, plays horsengoggle and pettily haggles with Spock Beard’s “The Gypsy”.
When they aren’t stylish or sensible, they are poignant and poetic. For instance, in “Afternoon Conversation” they have this well-placed line that goes: “…in a pot where I can’t grow.”
Additionally, “Harmony” and “The Ungodly slob” have some neat quirks, progressions and strums, on the guitars, keyboards, and bass.
Their instruments are coordinated while the singing on several special occasions is impeccable, if not ingenious. Also, if you can believe it, they somehow find a means to seamlessly utilize an accordion. This will make heads bolt like an implement under a Philips screwdriver or to one-up that analogy, Mr. Spooner’s tool to plug an A-Hole.
If your jaw just clenched or dropped, think of the father-in-law from King of Queens as it is my intent to be clean in thought, word and deed.
While Beardfish is not presently at the forefront, I predict that they are soon to arrive like Magic Pie. Don’t stay behind the times by letting this one slip. You have to check these guys out!
And that’s an order from the kid with the highest attainable rank.
Now go out and execute these plans immediately as it would be risky business to avoid Sleeping in Traffic: Part One.
Plus, when the sequel comes out, you’ll be a good cubby or brownie, have your cookies ready, and as the scoutmasters and moms used to say, ‘you’ll be prepared.’ What’s more, if you listen to the album enough times to catch its hidden-meanings, someday you too will be a rover or a ranger as well.