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Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly: Alone Together
Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly - Alone Together Album Art

Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly: Alone Together

Melodic Progressive Rock

When he's not recording and performing with British act Big Big Train, composer and multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjoblom finds time write music for his Gungfly project. With Gungfly, Sjoblom has been dropping new albums steadily since 2016. Now he returns his latest Gungfly album Alone Together which finds the band stripped down to a trio, featuring brothers Petter and Rasmus Diamant on drums and bass respectively. Sjoblom remains the principal songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and now, keyboard player. Conceptually, Alone Together considers relationships in the age of social media. (It should be noted that the album comes with eight songs, but my review package arrived with only the first six.)

Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly - Click For Larger Image

Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly

Musically, Alone Together finds Sjoblom and Gungfly once more offering listeners their crisp and creative melodic progressive rock. Most arrangements offer a robust rock rhythm and groove where the bass line is prominent and the drumming moves between a simple back beat to more expansive flourishes of frenzy. Wrapped up in this is Sjoblom's keen and kinetic guitar work where solos are vibrant, various, and abundant. Guitar lovers will go bat shit crazy for his craftsmanship.

As for his keyboard work, Sjoblom favors the Hammond organ (he bought his first one at the age of seventeen) which you will find across many songs including Traveler, Happy Somewhere In Between, or Alone Together. But Sjoblom will also pair his keyboard parts with his guitar solos. You'll hear this quite frequently in the longer songs, Traveler and On The Shoulders Of Giants. Within Happy Somewhere In Between, besides the Hammond, the synths have this quirky, jazzy feeling. Also within that same song, close to the end, there's a fine bass breakdown where a Hammond solo follows. For On The Shoulders Of Giants, synths and Hammond take a back seat to some simple, classic piano moments. The piano is quite strong in the center of the song, but much more subtle at the end where it lilts along with synths before an epic Sjoblom guitar solo rises. The odd song out in this album is From Afar which features, essentially, Sjoblom's voice and acoustic guitar with a bit of keys.

All said, Alone Together is simply another terrific album of inventive melodic progressive rock from Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly. Like his previous Gungfly album, there's much within Alone Together to explore and enjoy, meaning listeners can and should listen both carefully and casually. Easily recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

All said, Alone Together is simply another terrific album of inventive melodic progressive rock from Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly. Easily recommended.

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