Winger Strikes Again!
Winger’s secret weapon is super-drummer Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dregs, the Berklee-educated cousin to the hip Mahavishnu Orchestra. Their masterpiece What If came out in 1978, but by 1988 its driving force Steve Morse was working on a third solo album and Morgenstern was in a reviled hair band named for its hunky frontman (a former hired hand for Alice Cooper).
Winger (the band) was hated by tastemakers then, but only became a scapegoat for newly alternative grunge phonies in the ’90s via Beavis And Butthead. But there were much better targets for derision than players like Morgenstein and the rest of Winger: When Kip Winger famously stated that Metallica “couldn’t play” Winger jams, he was right — even ten years before metal’s biggest band slipped into indifference.
But Winger’s bum rep makes sense: It was their prowess that fueled proto-hipster ire — crappy performances wouldn’t stir dorks to swear their opposition to horny, spry super-hunks — and so it went, notwithstanding the existence of an album’s worth of super jams over three releases. Now the third of Winger’s post-2k albums is out today, titled Better Days Comin’ (heh heh) and it rips! We loved the second jam “Rat Race”; simultaneously more sophisticated and sexier is our third peek at Comin’, “Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine” (below). This is what Metallica tried to sound like. And we’re full circle.