Since I’ve never really lived a “glamorous” lifestyle, I must say that my opinions may come off as a little biased when talking about this record. But after listening to Wig Wam’s new record Wall Street, I’m not totally opposed to giving it a try. This hard rocking quartet from Norway makes every effort to bring glam metal back with their Kiss like flair, and in some cases the band certainly succeeds in providing an incentive to bring the genre back into the mainstream.
Right from the start, the record impresses me with their ability to write catchy material, such as with their opening title track “Wall Street.” The song is confident yet intriguing in all the right places, from the slinky vocals from singer “glam,” to the soaring guitar solo from “Teeny.” This title track is a strong introduction for the listener to anticipate what’s to come on the record. The third song on the record, “Victory Is Sweet” is filled with dramatic hooks and features a solid guitar solo, which uses motifs that were previously introduced to subtly give the song a strong foundation. Wig Wam is certainly able to capture the essence of 1980’s hair metal scene with a more modern approach, with drum sequencers and synthesizers. At the same time, the fake strings used on this song, as well as so many of the tracks really puts me off. With so much work put into the production of the record (produced by Ole Evenrude) it blows me away that they wouldn’t just splurge on a string section for a few hours to give some depth and legitimacy to their attempted arrangements.
As the record chugs along, I found myself having trouble focusing on the somewhat monotonous sound of so many of the songs. Songs such as “Tides Will Turn” are but a rare occurrence for the record, since it is only one of two songs that allows the listener to feel relaxed. Clearly the group is more than capable of firing up a crowd, but the lack of dynamic contact discourages me to be somewhat moved by the music. The lead singers voice, though clearly talented in his genre, too often strives for the same feel in each song, as a powerful hotshot. As strong as the songs may potentially be as singles, the record falls flat to me after four or five tracks because of very similar approaches.
Clearly Wig Wam is an experienced band, one which I have no doubt can fill an arena with swarming fans that can’t get enough of their style. In the plus ten years of their career they have certainly polished their song writing abilities, with catchy anthems I could easily envision a ten year old rocking out to on Guitar Hero. Wig Wam also has so much potential for the future, since they are one of the few bands out today who are aiming to replenish the dying fire of glam metal. At the same time, as an inexperienced listener to this genre I would certainly have trouble picking them out from any band that’s remotely like them. Unless they begin taking more chances and experimenting with their music, the fire will almost certainly burn out.
Key Tracks: Wall Street, Victory Is Sweet, Tides Will Turn
Sean Rubin- Muzikreviews.com Contributor
July 14, 2012