Winger - IV
Frontiers Records
Hard Rock
11 songs (49.58)
Release year: 2006
Winger, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
The whitest, hunkiest toothpaste-smile of the late 80s is back with his original compadres for the first Winger studio album in 13 years. Like several other bands have taken in the sign of the times, so is Winger including several themes of war and darkness on their album, right up to the cover of the soldier headed for a more-then-likely demise.

People craving Little Dirty Blonde’s or other mindless party tunes to shake their hips to will be mostly disappointed with this album, as it very much continues on the path set by Pull, the bands previous release. As that album managed to do pretty well, the song material on IV is quite heavy and slow, concentrating on atmospheres and slightly technical structures. Acoustics and harder riffs are mixed throughout. Songs like Right Up Ahead and Disappear have some modern, progressive leanings with quirky effects and rhythmical tricks here and there. Blue Suede Shoes has an intro which instantly reminds me of Dream Theater. The song itself is a bit confusing as the melodies are nice but when crooning voices lament about “red white and blue suede shoes”, I just can’t keep a straight face – in a good way that is. I would probably handle it better if I was an American.

Speaking of crooning, the one thing that the band has not skipped a beat in are the harmony vocals, which are marvellous. They ring together like it was time for another spin of Madeleine in 1989. M-16, while not as awesome as the similarly titled song by Sodom, is a very nice prog-ish, slow roller. Some fast tunes luckily brighten the album up, with the speedy Short Flight To Mexico providing good grooves and Your Great Escape showing that guitarist Reb Beach can still pull off a great solo when needed. Generica sounds pretty weird with it’s echoed vocals, but it does have a damned catchy chorus. Can’t Take It Back brings the record to a close with a nicely growing ballad.

The production values are top notch and technically the whole of IV is solid. For those digging the Pull-era Winger, I would recommend this album wholeheartedly. Those wanting the Seventeens – sorry, but it doesn’t seem like these guys are into singing about affairs bordering on statutory rape anymore. Personally I found the record pretty good. The boys can definitely play and sing, and hooks have not been forgotten entirely either amidst the darker themes. Overall though, IV is a bit too slow and down-beat. Stewart would most likely be pleased anyhow.

Killing Songs :
M-16, Your Great Escape, Disappear, Short Flight To Mexico & Can't Take It Back
Aleksie quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by Winger that we have reviewed:
Winger - The Very Best Of reviewed by Chris and quoted no quote
Winger - Pull reviewed by Chris and quoted 74 / 100
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