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Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly: Friendship
Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly - Friendship Music Review

Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly: Friendship

Melodic Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

Apparently always creative and consistently busy, former Beardfish vocalist Rikard Sjoblom returns with another Gungfly album. Inspired by pictures of his childhood and a tree house favored by neighborhood pals, Friendship revisits those times and those friends with Sjoblom's signature melodic progressive rock.

Rikard Sjoblom Photo Click For Larger Image

Rikard Sjoblom

While the name may be the project or band name, Gungfly is all about Sjoblom's multi-layered song compositions that features his voice and multi-instrumental versatility. He handles most of the guitars, bass, and keyboards, yet with guests filling in on the two former instruments at times. As for the songs, they're a lively mixture all those instruments blended into a fusion of prog, jazz, and rock music. Sjoblom may be a master of prog mysticism, but he definitely knows how to craft a tune around melody, harmony, rhythm and groove. Essentially, any Sjoblom/Gungfly song is a mixture of intrigue and accessibility. As I said of label mate The Tangent's latest Proxy: " ... listen both carefully and casually. Enjoy the intrigue of the arrangements, but be also be entertained by them in a carefree sort of way."

This sentiment is well founded in all songs, but I had some favorites. One is the title track which begins with a fluid combination of bass and wispy symphonic synths. It continues as mostly instrumental with additions of light piano and then Gilmour-like guitar work (before adding the vocal part). Another favorite is the mostly instrumental piece A Tree house In The Glade, where Sjoblom tries to interpret musically the album art, a picture of himself as a child atop his tree house. It's a light frolicking tune featuring tandem keyboard and guitar work. Some delicate, almost classical, piano begins Crown Of Leaves, but the song definitely evolves into a tune with more than a few jazz-like interpretations. With Stone Cold, you'll find something of a rocker with strong riffs and solid drums mixed and muddled with some Hammond organ and jazz-like guitar licks. Overall, Friendship finds Rikard Sjoblom once more at his creative best, delivering intriguing and entertaining melodic progressive rock. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

Friendship finds Rikard Sjoblom once more at his creative best, delivering intriguing and entertaining melodic progressive rock. Recommended.

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