Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you mister Rikard Sjöblom. People who prefer listening to progressive rock may recognize this name as the 28 year-old singer, guitar player, keyboardist and writer of the band Beardfish.
Now please, ladies and gentlemen, don’t be scared and walk away because I mentioned the words “progressive rock” and “Beardfish” in one sentence. Mister Sjöblom does not deserve that. At all. Certainly not if you took the time and opportunity to listen to the album “Please Be Quiet” that he released under the name Gungfly.
Rikard Sjöblom is a musical phenomenon. He is a master on every instrument he touches. He played practically all the instruments on the album except for a few drum and bass parts on a couple of tracks. An absolute joy to listen to. Except for the standard instruments like guitars, keys, bass and drums, he even gets away with incorporating the accordion on a few tracks.
When you listen to “Please Be Quiet” you get the feeling that Sjöblom was born at least 30 years too late. You can hear he is heavily influenced by pop and rock music from the sixties and seventies. Soaring hammond organs as we know from Deep Purple in one song, Hendrix-style guitar licks in the next, seventies California-style vocal harmonies in an other. Other influences that pour through are Beatles, Moody Blues, ELP, even Creedence Clearwater Revival maybe.
Reading all these band names and influences you may come to the conclusion that this is a varied album. This is certainly the case. The album never really derails though. All the songs somehow fit together nicely and form a coherent record. Although the songs may sound poppy and accessible, the arrangements do not have your standard hitradio flavor and contain out-of-the-ordinary and interesting chord changes, giving it a slightly progressive touch. This is one of the reasons I like this album.
“Please Be Quiet” is one hell of a record that deserves a much bigger audience than the small progressive following of Sjöblom’s other band Beardfish. The styles that can be heard on the album appeal to lots of people. I therefore hope this review helps in creating more awareness for this great artist.
Check the YouTube videos below for a taste of the album.
If you have Spotify, you can listen to the full album online.
Gungfly – On and On (Official Video)
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Gungfly – Whiskers (Live)
Gungfly – She Is Gone Again (Live)