Winger - Better Days Comin’

Winger Better Days Comin’ cover
Better Days Comin’
Frontiers Records
Winger return with yet another album after “IV” and “Karma” which were both OK, but rather, unable to look into the older works of the band eye to eye...
Weirdly enough, this time, Kip and his boys go for a dark and sexy sound, that is part eluding to the distant past, that’s however long gone and then in turn is more in tune with the style that somewhat more modern somber style the band displayed in the last couple offerings… you know what?
It’s not that bad! But when you though the band had it… Kip decides to abort mission and go solo, so to speak…
“Midnight Driver of a Love Machine” might have a preposterously long title, but it’s got a biting riff and an infectious groove that carry it and as soon as its chorus hits, it becomes quite irresistible…
“Queen Babylon” has swagger and bravado, and a slightly eastern feel, to go with it, and is based on a massive riff that lands repeatedly like a gauntlet. And the whole thing grooves like a motherfucker too... nice!
“Rat Race” is an energetic, up-tempo number, that’s not bad by any means, but while it’s fine, I can’t understand this choice… I mean, by all means, “MDOALM” even with that obnoxiously long title feels like a much better choice of a lead-off single… at least to my ears… (while at the time of the writing a video had not been shot for it, soon before the release of the album a video was in fact released, for the specific track)
The title track “Better Days Comin’” is a somewhat more laid back and happy go lucky case, with even slight 60s pop vibes, going on. Different!
Likewise “Tin Soldier” begins very much like a solo Kip Winger number, very softly before it gets an intense orchestration going on that sounds like – simplified Dream Theater on acid – jazzing it with Kip also going a little trippy too and I am guessing this must be condemning “war”!
“Ever Wonder”, again has the “solo” material style of Kip’s imprinted on it, being more minimal and slightly ambient. It’s pleasant, but not very rocking…
“So Long China” rocks up things considerably, after 2 really, heck 3 slower and more laid back numbers, but it’s not exactly the impressive and brilliant rocker... this is actually, what bands like Muse, Coldplay etc., should sound like, (especially vocal wise, but also playing wise) if they wanted to be considered good musicians, this is good, really well-crafted pop-rock.
“Storm in Me” is an impressive number that’s got distorted over-driven vocals and ever-changing dynamics that are led by the guitar-playing and is quite interesting in its build... as it’s quite unusual.
“Be Who You Are, Now” is a softer number that in its five plus minutes and it's very soft procession, is the closest thing to a well not a ballad, but a slow mellow moment, in the more classic meaning of the word... it’s also nicely laced with guitars which is an extra, but overall not the song which you’ll really pay an awful lot of attention on.
Last but not least, we’ve got “Out of This World” yet another tender, guitar interwoven number that slowly builds up and is sufficiently epic… with a very nice chorus this time and a strong vocal performance that really makes it a memorable parting moment...
Musically, Winger have produced an interesting and daring album full of good music. Old time fans of the “poser 80s era” are guaranteed to almost certainly hate it in their majority apart from the first couple of songs maybe... for those with a more open mind… sure, worth exploring... it’s context is a little confusing or non-existent – it’s inconsistent in terms of music style. But a good album nonetheless!