Beardfish are known to be one of today’s ‘retro-progressive’ bands and it’s the same with their new album “Mammoth”. The new songs sound so much like being straight out of the 70’s that yet again this almost could be a lost album of some old band. Nevertheless there are some aspects of today’s prog rock, as well.
The eight minute long opener ‘The Platform’ already tells much about this album’s sound. It basically is a hard rock song with nice guitar lines similar to that of early Genesis, sometimes backed by organ sounds which remind me of the style of Camel’s Peter Bardens. In fact, most of the album’s keyboard lines sound like as if Bardens would have played them, complete with lots of Mellotron and synthesizer sounds. Strangely enough the song ‘Akakabotu’ totally sounds like Camel, even featuring a saxophone. Musically most of the songs are somewhere between hard rock and jazzy progressive rock, sometimes being 70’s pop, too, like the song ‘Tightrope’.
Another hint at the ‘retro’ attempt is the rather simple production which forgoes effects and gimmicks almost throughout the whole album and just presents the music as it is, hence having some kind of perhaps analogue sound. On the other hand there are few modern elements like a passage of ‘And The Stone Said “If I Could Speak”’ which features shouted vocals and a rather heavy sound or the band “anticipating” post-70’s genres such as 80’s AOR/Melodic Rock with the song ‘Green Waves’.
In the end Beardfish’s ‘Mammoth’ has very good song material but it could be much better if the band wouldn’t insist on the retro-prog feel. There is a slight difference between re-inventing the old sound and just bringing it back. Although the songs are great, re-invention doesn’t sound like this.