Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

February 3, 2010

Wig Wam: Non Stop Rock And Roll

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: glam, hard rock, Norway

Label: n/a
Year: 2010
Home: Norway

Members: Glam ~ vocals
Teeny ~ guitar
Flash ~ bass
Sporty ~ drums

I believe you should listen to an album twice before reviewing it. With the first listen you're in shock as you align your expectations with your ears, while on the second listen it sounds more like the musicians want it to. Further, there's songs you might be immediately attracted to & they take on a special place in your heart as you discover the band behind them. 'Dr. Feelgood,' 'Janie's Got A Gun,' 'Moneytalks,' 'Ruler Of My Heart,' 'Got My Mind Set On You,' & 'Hey Stoopid' were like this to me as I grew up in the Pauly Shore days of MTV & hold a treasured place in my musical heart. Yet, I'll confess that the first time I heard 'Stairway To Heaven' I was assaulted by the strange noise & didn't listen to Led Zeppelin again for years. & I didn't begin to hear Nirvana until after Cobain's death, which was my junior year of high school where I was living north of Seattle. But, now, Led Zeppelin can do no wrong & Nirvana I like. So, while some songs grab you immediately, don't close yourself off to others if they don't. Much like don't judge a person on first impressions. Only after you've given a song, album or band a second listen can you really acknowledge your like or dislike. Further, one shouldn't even judge a band on one album as most bands morph drastically over their life if not album to album, even the repetitive AC/DC or Aersomith has changed. So, with this warning label in mind I hesitantly review Wig Wam, who still remain obscure in the States, though not for lack of success in Europe including two Eurovision wins. Having listened to this album twice I cannot give it a bad review, but on the other hand I'm still hesitant to give it a glowing review. I know I won't do it justice either way as it's probably not either extreme. The opening track 'Do Ya Wanna Taste It' stinks of familiarity, with it's prominent elements of Poison, Def Leppard & Queen & sets the tone of the album which goes from the Scorpions to Dokken without any hiding. This is 80's hard rock that stays firmly away from the metal end of the spectrum & is 20 years too late. All the songs have catchy upbeat lyrics you can sing to with a backing chorus to lead the way ('Chasing Rainbows' even features a kids choir right out of Mother Love Bone's 'Stardog Campion' to lead the sing-a-long), the production values are flawless, the arrangements are completely memorable & the guitar solos aim for the perfect balance without becoming too technical & indulgent. Def Leppard had all this going for them too, but they never were raw enough or anything truly rock-n-roll wild enough to keep their party going. Like Bon Jovi, they became a power ballad band, good for house parties & love songs but not necessarily innovative as they play it safe & just make good straight ahead hard rock into middle age. That's the problem with Wig Wam. Everything is perfect. Too perfect. Too polished. Thus, too safe. Nothing ever kicks into high gear. It's cliched rock to the end. Every solo has been heard before & each song sounds like it's been heard before but by someone else. That's not a bad thing, but, as I said, I can't decide if it's a good thing either. Which leads me to want to hear one of their earlier two albums to see if they've changed. If a predecessor is different than the band is changing, which is good & this album isn't as safe as I think it, which means it proves my point to not take things at face value first listen. Now, on the other hand, though I don't believe one should take extraneous information into account when listening to an album, when one considers that this is a Norwegian band ... perfectly imitating 80's glam rock ... everything I've just written gets thrown out the window. This band is the perfect 80's tribute band as they imitate every 80's band with perfect skill. I'd love to see these guy's record collections. It would be an 80's LP museum.

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