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Gungfly - Please Be Quiet CD (album) cover



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Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Quiet, subtle piano and voice (let's talk about it later): "It's early in the morning, when they come, and I like to sleep until three, but she hates this life as much as I..." starts first track here, Whiskers. I've realized that even this song looks like love song about his girl, "whiskers" reference hints that it's actually about his cat. Good one Rikard, you got me here.

Oh, I almost forgot, his voice was one of the best things about Beardfish (one of more great things about this band), so here, it simply shines. "I got down so low, so low [deep bass voice], so low...". Funny Prog music reigns again and for this, I'm always glad. This album flows forward easily, is very pleasant to listen, provides some elements (bass, keyboards twists) from Beardfish (also funny element, so rare in modern Prog music, well, not so many people do shrooms I suppose [OK, this is not drug inducted music as well, but this relation seemed so clear, heh]).

Cover art of person (of some kind, gender, age) done in monumental way (like some kind of ancient fallen statue, with these circle ripples, that are confusing quite a bit). On and On kicks in and stays in faster pace, except short part where there's some kind of interlude towards the rest of song to finally graduate again. Backing vocals together with crazy guitar, building of this song step by step, vocal work (hell, he's so Progressive in this). What more can I say ?

Maybe to continue with No Remorse stars with completely different style of singing again (I'm used to it, it's basic foundation of this album after all). Yes, there's no remorse to multi-instrumental part right after intro, which is some kind of singed "solo" that continues with synthesizers produced solo (real one this time). Song flows like the old river and has very special atmosphere, the accordion is shining star here. And with glimpse of something strange in the very end (last 15 seconds of the song are quite, well, unique)

And going on with Before the Winter which goes into spanish (really?) rhythm, with accordion in the middle (is it really good old acc?) with some kind of "Eagles - Hotel California" guitar solo. These are the best moments here I suppose.

Rumbling Boxes has weird lyrics with sparks of miniature choruses. However, this breaks in the middle, where we experience tiny drums solo and some more jazzy-like lyrics with specific Beardfish (or Rikard's?) atmosphere. And it's changing again in around 6 minutes onwards. It's The Changing Song I would say, full of tiny bits joined in a clever way together. It's like "Paris I Love You" (film), or this episode of The Simpsons (21 short stories about Springfield). Ending with wild keyboard solo.

5(-) to be honest, because if you're fan of Beardfish, you'll love it. And if you're not fan of BF, you're in quite minority here. I like to exaggerate from time to time, when I have a reason to do so. And here, you can find many reasons to do so. Some people may find some songs not so "Prog", however, let's examine them more closely. Hey, just try vocals here, how variable his voice can be. It's strange, but I consider it as the most Progressive thing here. He has more place than in Beardfish to show and prove his skills and, well, it works.

Report this review (#270332)
Posted Monday, March 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars My congratulations! Rikard has made an excellent album. The composer has shown the talent from absolutely unexpected side for me. The wonderful vocal, beautiful arrangements, melodious songs - does by all this an album very pleasant for listening. Certainly, in an album it is a lot of loans, but it does not do it worse, and to the contrary - owing to talent of the musician. For example, the song ' Before The Winter ' is very similar to a song ' Sultans Of Swing ' groups ' Dire Straits'.

It is a pity, that this album is poorly known, few assessments, are not enough voices. It deserves greater. I think, prospects at Рикарда as at solo-executor excellent. We wait for new successes!

Report this review (#276849)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's all good, it's understood - rumbling boxes of strings and wood

Gungfly (which means uneasy ground or a quaqmire in Swedish) is basically just the one bloke. Rikard Skjoblom. He plays all the instruments (minus, I think, one or two drum tracks) - which just serves to make this album even more astounding!

Gungfly has a decidedly poppier sound than Beardfish. However, don't immediatly dismiss this album because of this and the short song lengths - the compositions are still extremely interesting with great melodies and chord progressions noticably more exciting than your average chart-topper.

One of the first things you'll notice about this album is that it refuses to stick to the ordinary rock instrumentation, instead taking advantages of classic prog instruments such as organs and other strange instruments including an accordion. When the distorted guitar is used, it is often modified with a strange effect, such as the crazy guitar solo on "Fly Into the Sun".

I think the progressiveness (should be a word) is in the variation of the compositions - some are folky, some are "indie" sounding, some are snyth driven, guitar driven, spanish sounding, country sounding, accordian driven, minimalistic or complex. There are also many interesting solos, synth solos, guitar solos - all very different and very interesting.

Most of the songs on this album are brilliant, consice compositions. The stand-out track for me is "Rumbling Boxes" - the "proggiest" song, it contains a long-ish instrumental section with an acoustic piano solo - it's fantastic.

However, I have a problem rating this album. All the songs are great, but as they are mostly 3-5 minutes long, it's very different to rating a normal prog album. Sure, all the songs are great but simply don't contain the same compositional exploration as other, meatier prog albums. Yet, I cannot deny that I enjoy listening to all these songs - with there more subtle variations and fantastic vocals and lyrics from Rikard. So, I am going to rate this as five stars, but if you are a progressive elitest you may not enjoy this album as much.

Report this review (#296643)
Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A bunch of quality singer/songwriter type songs, coming across a bit like Lennon and certainly sounding 70s. Progressive by association only really, being Beardfish's vocalist and keyboard player, so it doesn't really warrant a higher mark than 3, maybe 3.5 stars because it is more adventurous than simple radio music. At first I thought this was a contemporary American band as it really sounds like it was written in America, but if you give it the time it is quite a nice eclectic mix of songs. Keyboard driven, a bit jazzy, but sometimes sounds a bit like it is a theme song to an American sitcom.
Report this review (#619542)
Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Yet another project of Beardfish'es Rikard Sj÷blom, who tends to be the Fabio Zuffanti of Sweden, this time going solo.Sj÷blom sings and plays all instruments on his first album from 2009 ''Please Be Quiet''.It contains tracks recorded between 2005 and 2008, most of them in Sj÷blom's hometwon Gavle.He is only helped by Beardfish/Bootcut's drummer Peter Diamant in six tracks, Beardfish'es Robert Hansen in another four, while one composition features appearances by Rasmus Diamant (double bass), Peter Fredriksson (trombone) and Tobias Wiklund (trumpet).

It is really hard to believe that Sj÷blom composed and performed all this diverse material all by himself.The album has an incredibly professional sound and perfect performances on every single instrument, mixed appropriately, while Gungfly is definitely Sj÷blom's most unfocused project by far.It contains 15 tracks, covering all of his influences, and ''Please Be Quiet'' ends up to be the definition of an Art Rock album.The listener can find anything linked to Rock music in here.Power ballads with impressive and strong songwriting, Pop/Psych-influenced tunes of deep inspiraton, more folky pieces with a delicate atmosphere with even a bit of Country flavor, Soft Rock cuts with shining guitars ala DIRE STRAITS, modern rockers with fantastic vocals and catchy choruses and even full-blown Progressive Rock like in the long ''Rumbling Boxes''.The album flows nice and easy, having consistent changes between stronger and lighter tunes, while Sj÷blom proves to be a fantastic singer as expected.Great guitar work, tight arrangements, flexible keyboard and piano themes with touches of some nostalgic accordion are there to highlight this musician as one of the most important talents of modern Progressive Rock.

I can see the traditional Prog listener having a weird taste for this release, but anyone willing to open his ears for a progressive album with its wider meaning should add this work in his collection.From marvelous songwriting to demanding compositions, ''Please Be Quiet'' contains it all in a very good level of quality.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#893531)
Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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