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On disc: Beardfish

- Sleeping In Traffic: Part One - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Sleeping In Traffic: Part One

Sleeping In Traffic: Part One
(InsideOut Music - 2007)

The Swedish quartet was founded in 2001 by multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sj÷blom and guitarist David Zackrisson. In 2003 they released a self-produced album with the Swedish title Från en plats du ej kan se... and soon the CD got sold-out at concerts they played with Anekdoten and Paatos. Last year they released the double album The Sane Day and with their success in their homecountry and their unique sound they convinced InsideOut Music and inked a deal with them. This is their first 'real' album - as the former been produced and distributed by the band - and with their sound they stick out of the rooster of InsideOut Music. They are more 70's-inspired rock with folk and prog elements...
You first hear some melancholy accordion melody... ...On The Verge Of Sanity is only the intro for Sleeping In Traffic: Part 1. The Swedish band really starts of with their 70's influenced rock with folk elements and progressive parts with Sunrise. After the bombastic opening of the song they reduce all to acoustic guitar and the vocals of Rikard Sj÷lblom, then the others join in and Sunrise develops into a balladesque rock tune with Deep Purple-ish Hammond organ sounds. The progressive parts have a bit of ELP.... Or Hoelderlin - for a few moments. Both names spring to mind, but too short is the sound image to grab it. With the track And Never Know they return even more to the sound universe of 70's rock / art rock. A complex prog / art rock tune which combines straight rock parts and highly complex parts. Mr. Sj÷blom's voice on top of it with a light pop touch. And the song ends with a creaking door. The only other track I want to mention is the 12 minute long Roulette which has some Supertramp-ish sounds, but I also have to sing for split seconds of Pink Floyd... Perhaps the best way to check out the Swedish... It's obvious that the guys are technically brilliant, but they don't need to demonstrate this in long solo parts or instrumentals. Okay, in the middle part of the song bassist Robert Hansen take a step into the spotlight with a nice bass part accompanying singer Rikard.
As so often in this genre the music can hardly be described with words. One can only give a slight idea... Roulette is giving a good impression, but to hear the other side of their musical spectrum listen to Dark Poet.
All songs are well performed and the voice of Rikard Sj÷blom is showing a variety, but always catching the listeners attention. But I miss the lively feeling the 70's bands had. Perhaps it has to do with nowadays production techniques... And the absence of the warm sound analog recordings had...

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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