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Wobbler - From Silence to Somewhere CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 725 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I have not really dug into Wobbler until recently. I knew there was strong neo vibe to it. What began to interest me was the well textured arrangements and general good quality of performance as I began listening to "Rites At Dawn" (2011) . I found myself being drawn into the songwriting. However, as I checked out the reviews on this site I noticed that this more recent 2018 release was actually rated their best so I decided to give a listen. Wow, was I let down. Of epic length, the first track disappointed with a string of prog-cliche grooves and textures with no compelling song structure. It felt like a flea market sale of assorted proggy grooves indulged by the band. A nice little song at the end is fine but chop 2/3 - 3/4 of this away I say.

Tune #2 starts off simply enough but this dirge-like idea is a bit overused and is kind of like a spooky wallpaper in an old house, but short and sweet. No harm, no foul.

#3 An in-your-face aggressive song. However, band drowns out vocal which I lyrically I cannot understand simply by listening. Weird that this piece is so dramatic without a good setup. Nice section at 2;10. Would have been more compelling if tune began this way. It would draw in listener more. I like this section very much. 4 star section. As it unfolds I wish for more play of densities within the arrangement, but it's not bad. Next section suffers from less- than-creative choices of sounds. If this section developed textures from the 2nd section at 2:10 ..... To be fair, they eventually get into this a bit around 6:00. Here again, vocals aren't mixed clearly or upfront enough. Keyboards in general are too heavy and smother the timbres of vocals. Finally, sonic relief at 8:00.

Wobbler needs to find new ways to present their grooves and perhaps consciously do the exact opposite of what their initial instincts are at the time. It sounds like choices are made somewhat out of habit and this really whitewashes the creative textures.

#4 Haven't I heard this kind of gentle, friendly, warm guitar arpeggiation a million times? Surely it can be done differently. Flutes, bell-like percussion, guitar squeaks, etc. I think what kills it for me is the guitar part just not played musically enough. It would be interesting to cut out half its notes and bleed it more with the background which isn't bad. (Actually I could see this being the beginning to the 2nd section of the prior tune). Anyway, at the 4:00 mark we get the obligatory heavy progband sledge hammering of simple chord grooves....then, vocals over a too heavy background. A few less notes per player I suggest.

As I often find Prog bands aren't great at handling the weight and color of textures. A shame because often there are some nice structures that just need better and more diverse choices of sounds and nuanced choices of notes. More pruning and shaping, more diversity in texture and timbre is needed.

Don't get me wrong. Wobbler has a nice sound and I will go back to other material in hopes of what I initially sensed with "Rites". But I think reviewers on this site are a little too kind.

ZappaBowie | 3/5 |


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