Review by Gary Rockulus Maximus Clarke
Album: Wonder Days
Release Date: February 16 2015
The Thing I Want
When The Music Played
I Love The Weekend
If you’re familiar with the band and were wrapped up in the joy which was their debut album “Backstreet Symphony”, then you’ll know roughly what to expect. The UK-based rockers don’t tend to stray from their well-trodden path but do explore different sounds in subtle fashion. This can be witnessed with a moment of lead guitar resembling Rage Against The Machine when you hear a section of the title track.
This album produces some special moments which sit comfortably within their canon of work including the track ‘Black Water’ which was co-written with Lynne Jackaman of Saint Jude Fame. Luke Morley remains firmly behind the creative steering wheel as always for the majority of the album apart from this exception. Other highlights which lurk like diamonds in the mine are ‘Resurrection Day’, the sombre and reflective ‘Broken’ and the swagger of ‘When the Music Played’.
Lyrically the album tackles all manner of human observation and isn’t a departure from what normally bleeds from the fingertips of Morley. Their style of blues-based classic rock remains firmly on the pedestal and as always credit to the lung-busting Daniel Bowes for his lead vocal performance deserves to be noted.
‘Wonder Days – Live’
When age creeps up on an individual, what better way to embrace the momentum of ticking time than to sing about memories and nostalgia? The artwork clearly displays this theme as the band find young versions of themselves and the vibes of the seventies arrive to the fore. You wouldn’t really notice the absence of Ben Matthews either within the recordings although for fans who know the tough health issues he’s been facing in recent times, he’ll be welcomed back in the fold once he’s fully recovered from his cancer treatment.
“Wonder Days” is a strong album as you’d expect from a hard working band who invest a lot of experience and pride in their musical output. The album overall contains a slightly more mature and fresh vibe with production values adding some meat to the bone for the sound. For those who weren’t too impressed with the tinny sound of guitars on their previous 2008 studio affair called “BANG!”, this is positive news.
Whether you wish to dance to songs like ‘The Thing I Want’ or ‘I Love The Weekend’ or maybe wish to nestle into something slower like ‘The Rain’, there are sufficient varying shades of what constitute blues-based rock music. It’s good to have a solid band with five strong musicians back in action together.