Hair Metal Happy Hour

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Liam Wilson Loves the New Winger Album


Liam WIlson / Kip Winger

Last week I wrote a post singing the praises of Winger’s proggy, weird, and strangely catchy new song “Tin Soldier.” I was never a big Winger fan, nor had I paid any attention whatsoever to their career over the past twenty years — Mike Judge ruined them for me (and everyone) by placing their t-shirt on Beavis & Butthead’s tryhard neighbor Stewart — but I was pleasantly surprised by the new song. It’s good!

Turns out I’m not the only one who thinks so: none other than Liam Wilson, bass extraordinaire for The Dillinger Escape Plan since the year 2000, wrote a detailed review of Winger’s new album Better Days Comin’ for The Talkhouse. Not only is the review spot-on, but it’s incredibly well-written (who knew Liam had such a way with words?). Excerpt:

If you’re old enough to remember when Winger was all over rock radio and MTV, tell me: when was the last time you heard, or better yet, actually listened to, one of Winger’s early hits? Go dime tracks like “Seventeen,” “Headed for a Heartbreak,” “Madalaine” or “Hungry.” Now look me in the face (my photo is above) and tell me that’s not some pretty bad-ass riffage. For me, those songs represent a quartet of that era’s highest-caliber pants-package-rockin’ anthems; to suggest that all those hair-centric bands sounded the same is, to me, a form of rock & roll racism.

So we’ve traveled 26 strange years into the future from that debut, and Winger has just dropped their sixth album Better Days Comin’. I have to admit, this album probably won’t chart on my best of 2014 list, but let’s keep things in their proper perspective. It’s not a groundbreaking record. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s still a damn good Winger record that should appeal to most fans of hard rock. I knew I probably wouldn’t love it, but I really didn’t even expect to even like it as much as I do without some extra handicapping for time passed. Disclaimer: There is an intrinsic cheese factor that I consider par for the course, but for me that’s part of the charm, and with that stated, Winger still tastes more like an expensive Gorau Glas than cheap Cheez Whiz. Although these songs come off slightly more straightforward and thinly sliced than their typically lean portions, there are no real clunkers and only a few cringe-worthy cuts served up on this board.

Read the rest of Liam’s write-up here. Hey, Liam, any time you’d like to write about hair metal for MetalSucks the gate to the Mansion’s wide open, friend!

Check out “Tin Soldier” below. Better Days Comin’ comes out on April 22nd via Frontiers; order it here.

Thanks: Fuzzy Dunlop

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