Winger is back. Better Days Comin’, the new album from Winger is their first since 2009’s Karma and their third since reforming (sans Paul Taylor) in 2006.
The dynamic between primary songwriters Kip Winger and guitarist Reb Beach gets stronger with each record. Winger’s songwriting continues to combine the perfect balance of Beach’s straightforward monster rock riffs and Winger’s progressively influenced arrangements and chord progressions. In addition to Winger and Beach, drummer Rod Morgenstein is a monster as usual and John Roth is solid as a rock.
This record hits hard right out of gate. The opening three tracks, “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine”, “Queen Babylon”, and “Rat Race” continue where their last record, Karma left off, simple, straight ahead riff-driven rock. The 60’s influenced title track is a surprise change of direction. The progressive vibe of “Tin Soldier” would have fit right in on the band’s 2006 release, “IV”. The ballads, “Ever Wonder“, “Be Who You Are, Now”, and “Out of this World” are beautifully arranged and are more reminiscent of Kip Winger’s solo work than 80’s Winger. Rounding out the record is “Storm in Me” another riff-driven rock song and “So Long China”, far and away the strongest track on the record. Awesome riff and a hook that will have you singing along after one listen whether you want to or not.
Better Days Comin’ shows Winger, like many bands these days, are making the records they want to make without the pressure of sales expectations. They are not forcing themselves into a style or formula to hit sales numbers or score a hit single.
Bottom line: Highly recommended. Top notch songs and musicianship. No filler songs whatsoever. Whether you’re die hard, fringe fan, or just rediscovering Winger is still making records, you won’t be disappointed
Better Day’s Comin’ is available as a digital download, CD/DVD and CD/DVD Deluxe Edition with bonus track and DVD containing two music videos and a “making of” documentary.