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Alone Together


Artist: Rikard Sjoblom's Gungfly
Label: InsideOutMusic
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 04 September 2020

InsideOut Music (Century Media) releases Alone Together by Prog Rock trio Gungfly. Swedish multi-instrumentalist Rikard Sjoblom is best known for his earlier contributions with Beardfish and English Progressive Rockers Big Big Train. However, with his own project Gungfly he has created a suitable follow-up to 2018’s Friendship album. His objective with fellow musicians Petter and Rasmus Diamant (on drums and bass respectively) was to keep it simple by focussing the emphasis on Rock rather than Prog. Alone Together is available as a Limited CD Digipack (with 2 bonus tracks), a Gatefold 180g LP + CD, and as a Digital Album for download...

I haven’t listened to any Gungfly before, so I came to this review cold… which is probably the best way to write a subjective analysis. My first thought when listening to 'Traveler', the opening 13-minute magnum opus was that, although overly long, it does have structure with nice vocals and a little of everything – including acoustic and electric guitar breaks, keyboards, and balanced style changes of light, slightly heavier and plaintive mixes. 'Happy Somewhere in Between' jumps between the early Southern Boogie riff, the segue into country, the medieval, and finally settling uncomfortably into Prog – with allusions at times to Emerson, Lake and Palmer, particularly the nice keyboard outro. I think Keith Emerson can rest easily though.

'Clean as a Whistle' goes for more of the atmospheric acoustic sound. At times this has a old-fashioned nightclub feel, before attempting to emerge this time as a Rick Wakeman keyboard representation. Unfortunately, I found this one a little dull. 'Alone Together' is a typical Prog meandering mess – closer to jazz in format than Rock. Its only saving grace is the guitar outro. 'From Afar', at less than 3 minutes duration, is a nice little acoustic number which would work perfectly well as a linking piece on any number of Rock albums. We finish with 'On the Shoulders of Giants', another overly long track. It has its moments, with piano or guitar pieces, but on the whole leaves the sense of continuous on-the-spot improvisation.

I don’t think I would actively seek out this type of music, as I tend to avoid most Progressive Rock (with a few exceptions), my personal tastes leaning significantly more towards harder-edged metal. Personally, I discovered it works better as background music rather than that you would sit and concentrate on. However, I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from giving this album a try. More dedicated Prog Rock fans will undoubtedly love it, regardless of using other band’s styles on occasion.


Ty Power

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