I don't care what you think, what Mike Judge thinks or even Metallica
(and I like all of you), but I've always liked Winger. It makes me
very happy that they're back (in fairness they've been back since the
mid 2000's) and being embraced by people like Eddie Trunk. Their
newest album "Better Days Comin'" is out now and fans of the band are
going to love and haters of the band are going to be surprised by how
much they like it.
Winger has always had a progressive rock element to them and "Better Days Comin'" continues that trend. The album is like a progressive rock album only with three and four minute songs. Kip sounds as good as ever and the playing is top notch. "Tin Soldier" the first single is the most progressive of all the songs on the album. Reb Beach's guitar riff sounds like it could fit into the middle section of a Dream Theater song.
There are ballads too. I'm not the biggest ballad fan in the world, but the ballads on "Better Days Comin'" such as "Ever Wonder" and "Be Who You Are" are far from cheesy, there's a depth to them that many ballads lack. The albums probably 30% ballads, 70% heavy. I personally prefer the harder rocking songs like "Midnight Driver of a Love Machine," "Queen of Babylon," "Tin Soldier" and "Storm in Me." Then there is "Out of the World" with a guitar solo or two that are so fucking awesome, that I'd buy the album for the solo alone. Like any good prog rock album "Better Days Comin'" works as a whole, unlike most prog rock albums each song stands on its own.
I definitely recommend picking up "Better Days Comin.'" If you're a Winger fan you probably already have it. In all honesty though, if you're not a Winger fan because of "Beavis and Butthead" or Metallica or just because they became the poster boys for hair metal when Nirvana and Pearl Jam were taking off, then give this album a chance.
If you can't bring yourself to check out this album then I mean this with all sincerity...go fuck yourself. Music is an art form and should be appreciated. There is no such thing as bad music. There may be music you don't connect with, but that doesn't make it mad. There is a world of music out there that you may love, but if you never make the effort to check it out because of some stupid label then you're just a sad person and I've got no use for you. "Better Days Comin'" is the type of album you show your friend and they like it, then you tell them who the artist is and they're surprised (or disappointed in themselves...but that's on them). Winger rocks and so does "Better Days Comin'"
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.