Frontiers Records
Release date: October 20, 2006

User Review
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Take yourself back to the year 1988; perhaps you were born then, perhaps not. It was the pinnacle of the “Hair Metal” era when MTV played music videos 24 / 7, and pretty-boy Winger and his (or their) “Seventeen” video graced TV screens and the FM radio waves. Music fans back then either thought Winger epitomized “Hair Metal,” or perhaps turned it into a sickeningly, sugary-sweet affair with hits like the aforementioned “Seventeen”, “Madalaine,” and “Headed For A Heartbreak.” One thing was certain, they had a melodic, catchy sound that was adorned by some great guitar playing and had one heck of a lead man that the chicks dug.

Fast-forward to 2006, in a year that has seen a flurry of 80’s bands with highly successful reunion tours, new releases, greatest hits releases, etc. Tossing their hat into the ring is three of the original Winger members (Kip, Reb Beach, and Rod Morgenstein) who have revamped the Winger line-up and recorded new material simply entitled IV. Guitarist Jon Roth was brought into the studio (Jon replaced Paul Taylor on the Pull tour) along with newcomer Cenk Eroglu (XCarnation) to cover keyboards and sound FX.

It’s evident by the Van Sciver drawn cover (renowned comic book artist and penciller who contributed to Cyberfrog, New X-men, The Flash: Iron Heights, and Impulse) that this isn’t your Momma’s Winger! Okay, maybe not completely different, but on this release you won’t find any “Madalaine” or “Seventeen” teeny-bop tunes. What you will find is some quality Melodic Hard Rock. The fact that this release has to be approached with more of an open mind might offend or disappoint diehard 80’s Winger fans. But, if approached right and given a chance, you’ll find some enjoyable music within. As Kip puts it, this new album “starts where Pull left off, moves on to new directions by mixing some classic Hard Rock like Van Halen and early Winger style, Progressive and acoustic elements …”

The subtle start of the opening track, “Right Up Ahead,” might scare quite a few off until the guitars and melody kick in. While not the strongest piece on this disc, it is an acceptable beginning. Reb’s guitar tone throughout does remind one of last year’s excellent release by The Mob. “Blue Suede Shoes” has a similar feel, pace, and attitude to remind avid fans of Winger’s 1990 hit “Miles Away.” The first true highlight is the catchy, infectious Pop feel of “Four Leaf Clover.” Kip puts in a memorable vocal performance graced by a heartfelt solo by Beach, all in all a quality tune. “M16,” which could be about the guy drawn on the cover, is a solid Rock offering. The biggest highlight is the riffage within “Your Great Escape,” which has that classic 80’s Winger feel and “drive.” “Disappear” and “Livin’ Just To Die,” while not as driving as their accomplice track (“Your Great Escape”), are not at all out of place on a Winger release, both tracks being mid-tempo Rockers. “Short Flight To Mexico” sounds slightly moodier in spots, but at the same time has the proper throttle to fit in well and includes more prime Beach guitar antics.

All in all, a strong comeback release for the Winger team, with a slightly more modern sound. There’s plenty to draw from here for their “Greatest Hits” release. Reb’s guitar antics aren’t as high profile and scorching, as on the aforementioned The Mob release, but guitar fans should find plenty to enjoy here nonetheless. While Kip and Cenk are credited with keyboards, they aren’t as overbearing in the mix as one might originally suspect. Kip sounds as good as ever, and puts in a commendable vocal performance. He accentuates the harmonies and all of his other vocal attributes for which his detractors seem to wrongly despise him. While currently halfway through a European tour, those fans in the USA can only grovel and remain envious. Hopefully, the guys can hold it all together and put out a follow-up release just as strong or better than this one!


Kip Winger – Vocals, Bass, Acoustics and Keyboards
Reb Beach – Guitars, Vocals
Rod Morgenstein – Drums
John Roth – Guitars, Vocals
Cenk Eroglu – Keyboards, Guitars and Effects


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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