Posts Tagged ‘Winger’
Since the demise of hair metal in the early 90’s, Kip Winger has on a couple of occasions made it known that his band, the eponymously named “Winger” (which wasn’t the band’s original name – that would be “Sahara”, and it would’ve been awesome if they toured with Asia — or better yet, if they’d toured with a hypothetical supergroup featuring Malcolm Young, Rikki Rockett, Mark Slaughter and Alex Van Halen called “Gobi”), was far more than just your average hair metal band, and was simply “lumped in” with the hair metal scene simply because they were popular at the same time as the eight million other hair metal acts plying their trade back then. To bolster his case, Kip maintains — and rightly so — that Winger’s musicianship was such that it transcended most other hair metal acts (except for Bullet Boys – psyche!). He’s even gone so far as to refer to his band as “the hair metal version of Dream Theater”.
I don’t know if I’d go that far, but Winger no doubt had/has (I say “has” because they’re still rokkin’, playas!) a talented lineup. Reb Beach and Rod Morgentstern are first-class musicians, and Kip’s no slouch on bass. But when one of your most memorable tunes is an innuendo-free, jail-bait celebratin’ anthem called “Seventeen”, I really must take issue with the notion that Winger’s “hair metaledness” was simply a case of bad timing.
“Seventeen”! “Seven friggin’ teen!!” C’mon, Kip – after “Cherry Pie”, “Slide it in” and “Tease Me, Please Me”, that’s about as hair metal as it gets! I mean, it’s not like you guys were out there singing about the afterlife, or dragon slayers, or alien invasions, or time-traveling Gjorks from the planet Kazar. Look, it’s real simple: if there was any question Winger was a “prog metal act with a terrible sense of timing”, then “Seventeen” provided the answer. Only AC/DC could come up with a song less inconspicuous. In fact, after reviewing Winger’s song catalog, I was shocked not to find a cover of “Sink the Pink” or “Squealer”.
And speaking of Winger’s catalog, here are some other song titles that don’t exactly have a prog metal feel to them:
- “Headed for a Heartbreak”
- “Poison Angel”
- “Can’t Get Enuff”
- “Loosen Up”
- “Easy Come Easy Go”
- “Little Dirty Blonde”
- “You are the Saint, I am the Sinner”
- “Junkyard Dog (Tears on Stone)” — Huh?
Most of these songs are from Winger’s first two albums, which would’ve seemed like a good time to put down those prog metal roots – that is, if you were a prog metal band and not a hair metal band, which Winger certainly was.
IOH: -0.004. I’m down with Winger, but I’m not down with Kip claiming they were unsuspecting victims of hair metal’s onslaught of awesomeness, only to record a bunch of songs that sounded suspiciously hair metal.
Here’s a reminder of what a prog metal song sounds like, complete with lyrics that are a bit deeper than a tale of Kip’s dalliance with a high school junior named Suzie at Taste of Arvada in 1988.