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GUNGFLY

Crossover Prog • Sweden


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Gungfly biography
Swedish artist GUNGFLY will be better know by many as Rikard Sj÷blom, who has been getting quite a lot of attention as the vocalist and keyboard player in Swedish act Beardfish. Gungfly is his first effort as a true solo artist, his solo effort released under his own name a few years earlier was first and foremost a special side project rather than a true solo CD as such.

Gungfly is planned as an endeavour with more longevity to it, and Sj÷blom is already sketching out the compositions for a second full length effort to be issued under this moniker.

Gungfly official website

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Please Be QuietPlease Be Quiet
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$20.05
$12.98 (used)
LamentationsLamentations
Audio CD$29.98 (used)

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GUNGFLY discography


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GUNGFLY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.99 | 47 ratings
Please Be Quiet
2009
3.66 | 46 ratings
Lamentations
2011

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GUNGFLY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Please Be Quiet by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.99 | 47 ratings

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Please Be Quiet
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Lamentations by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 46 ratings

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Lamentations
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars The most impressive aspect of Gungfly's second album is without a doubt the electric guitar work. Many of the songs are agreeable; other's aren't. Gritty fried rock is the string that holds this sequence of jewels and rhinestones together. It is recommended to fans of Peter Frampton and The Dear Hunter.

"Bringing Down the Walls" A loose rocker blends elements of modern Peter Frampton and Echolyn together for a strong start. Off-kilter guitar lines are juxtaposed with more conventional rock and roll. The second half is more intense, with abrasive screams and crunchy guitar.

"White Light" A fast rock song with an Ozzy Osbourne tinge and peppered with some blistering guitar riffs, this tune includes an acoustic interlude. While some parts are catchy, the piece as a whole remains disorderly and tricky to follow.

"Lamentations" The fanciful melodies here bridge quirky Gentle Giant nods with Jethro Tull's bluesy folk music, making this a fun adventure of a song.

"Peace at Mind" Keeping pace with the blues, the fourth track's main riff has a slight "falling down the stairs" quality to it before rocking out in the refrain. Again, the modern-day Peter Frampton sound is very much there, only with traces of Alice in Chains from time to time and a touch of Mellotron.

"The Game" Gritty guitar and Spanish horn offer a fusion of indie, surf, and Latin rock. The vocals have a dull inflection and an aged tone.

"Sleight of Hand" Edging back into hard rock, this song suddenly changes shape altogether, becoming a laidback R&B number. Regardless of these stylistic changes, the composition remains shaky throughout, lacking the integrity of solid transitions or memorable melodies.

"In This House" The most forgettable song on the album is a nondescript rocker with boisterous vocals. While I can see how this tune might appeal to others, for me it fails to move or impress me the way some of the other tracks do.

"And She Drives Me..." In stark contrast to the previous song (and the album as a whole), this song offers an easygoing piano with a very nice chord progression and light, pleasant singing.

"We Will Never Leave" The longest track mixes moody Mellotron lines with progressive metal leanings and cantankerous lyrics. Offering variety and a morose transition, the wailing of a synthesizer lead escorts the listener into an atmospheric middle passage of dim thunder and gloomy piano. It quite expectedly returns to the hard rock of before. While the vocal melody is enjoyable, the lyrics tend toward 1980s power metal cheese at best or adolescent poetry at worst. Overall, I think this is a respectable composition, even if it is not the best the album has to offer.

"Shape of Days to Come" A moderate rocker with pensive and hopeful lyrics that contrast with the somewhat pessimistic music, the final song puts drearily good melodies next to a bit of unexpected jazz country at the end.

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 Please Be Quiet by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.99 | 47 ratings

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Please Be Quiet
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by praj912

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.

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 Lamentations by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 46 ratings

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Lamentations
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Lamentations' - Gungfly (7/10)

With an album from his flagship project coming out earlier in the year, Rikard Sj÷blom has been a busy man lately. Beardfish's 'Mammoth' however, only managed to moderately impress me, with most of my potential appreciation being lost on what I perceived to be the fairly recycled musical direction and lack of emotion. Gungfly is Sj÷blom's solo project, and while similar to the music that Beardfish makes, this appears to be where he directs his more personal material. Although not ultimately different from the music that Beardfish makes, Gungfly's 'Lamentations' is a more moving observation from Sj÷blom, and demonstrates his well-roundedness as a prog musician.

It would be safe to say that Gungfly and 'Lamentations' takes a more singer-songwriter approach to music than did Beardfish, albeit only slightly. Sj÷blom does all of the instruments here, but there is the feeling that it is a full band playing; there are only a few moments where it is just taken to the man's voice and his guitar. However, Rikard Sj÷blom's voice is the main attraction here, and he takes measures to ensure the listener that they are listening to a solo project rather than a lost Beardfish record. All the same, the sound and style here is not unexpected. There is a decent variety of sounds here, mostly rooted in the 70's sound of rock music, but constantly branching out with new angles. The instrumentation never falls into a solo artist's rut; all instruments played here are done quite well, and the guitars have some solos that are quite amazing.

The best thing here however is Rikard's voice itself, which passes me here as being similar to that of Mikael Akerfeldt's (of Opeth), but with a smoother quality to it, The biggest change I noticed from Beardfish to Gungfly are actually in the lyrics themselves; here, Rikard takes a much more personal approach to the music, drawing directly upon his life, rather than drawing out the kind of metaphors that some prog becomes infamous for. Take for instance the first track here, 'Bringing Down The Walls', a groovy number that revolves around the degradation of his family life when he was a kid, and even how it has shaped who he has grown into. Musically, this is not anything different from what I would expect on any Beardfish record, but the lyrics give it an extra push; it becomes much easier to relate to an artist's music when they are opening up their hearts, rather than solely their intellects.

Sj÷blom's Gungfly is a solid outing from the Beardfish frontman, although it will still likely always be known as a side project, rather than something all its own. Despite the diversity in sound and style, this is nothing that Sj÷blom is not already very used to, but his music here is driven by an added personal touch that I didn't always hear when listening to Beardfish.

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 Lamentations by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 46 ratings

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Lamentations
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by CherylCez

5 stars "Lamentations" completely and immediately has touched me musically. It is definitely one of my "desert island" cd's.

Rikard Sjoblum, is a wonderfully talented artist, with the rare ability to make his voice/singing style an instrument in the music. The music displays what can only be the artists vast appreciation of musical styles; there are odes to jazz, pop, disco, classical, rock, heavy metal, and even tango - which I didn't even know I could like until I heard it woven into his music. Lest I forget blues, oh, blues, "Peace at Mind" is so rich with blues and Rikard sings that style so well, it actually makes my soul ache. "Bringing Down the Walls" showcases one thing that Rikard does so well, and that is to paint a picture of a moment, a feeling, a state of mind and pull you in with him emotionally. The whole cd does this to one degree or another, without ever feeling heavy and weighty.

A treasure for sure.

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 Please Be Quiet by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.99 | 47 ratings

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Please Be Quiet
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by Nathaniel607

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.

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 Please Be Quiet by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.99 | 47 ratings

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Please Be Quiet
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by Tuskarilla

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!

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 Please Be Quiet by GUNGFLY album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.99 | 47 ratings

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Please Be Quiet
Gungfly Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

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.

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