Thursday, April 17, 2014

WINGER: "Better Days Comin"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Frontiers 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Damned if you do - damned if you don't? Opening track and single, "Midnight Driver Of a Love Machine", harks back to the dated and cheesy sound of their debut and it's clearly not Winger at their best in 2014. It's got all the woh-ho's and tacky lyric in the vein of and I quote, 'She runs on sex and gasoline, she's a midnight driver of a love machine? Oh dear. What ever happened to the excellent music and progressive vibes of 'IV' or any other album beside their debut, the worst record in their ever growing back catalogue in my humble opinion. Okay. We're off to a really dodgy start, but things are about to improve and change to the better.

"Queen Babylon" is the fun prog-lite tune with remarkable harmonies and atmospheric keyboards by Cenk. The uptempo guitar attack track of "Rat Race" do remind me of Dokken somehow (Tooth and Nail?) and not too shabby, but still not Winger at their very best. However, the album takes off like a rocket to the sky with the groovy title track and the remaining six tracks. "Tin Soldier", mesmerizing keys/guitar riff and the uplifting refrain. "Ever Wonder", definitely Winger at their very best and its haunting melody gets you in the heart. "So Long China" atmospheric rock with a special nod to Mr. Peter Gabriel (bridge) and Pull. "Storm In Me" is the darker and excellent prog-vibe of IV and merely the hint of King's X.

"Be Who You Are Now", speak of the evolution, revolution, and that everything is always changing. Indeed, Kipper. Simply ignore the voice inside your head that screams "Seventeen" over and over again on the next album :) [and the bald and chubby middle-aged stalker fan outside your house for that matter]. Winger are at their best, right here, right now, in this very moment, (2014 not 1988), performing the slightly moody, atmospheric, proggy rock of numbers such as the excellent closing track, "Out Of This World".

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