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Nine Days' Wonder - Nine Days' Wonder CD (album) cover

NINE DAYS' WONDER

Nine Days' Wonder

 

Crossover Prog

3.80 | 25 ratings

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Guldbamsen
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Site and Forum Admin
4 stars A rare hybrid

What if Jethro Tull had decided to back up Frank Zappa in the start of the 70s, and then hired Tony Iommi to play lead guitar for this brand new band? I´m not sure all these musicians could have succumbed to the dictatorship of good ol´ Franky boy, but then again I´m only contemplating what could have been. This debut album by Nine Days´ Wonder does however make a fair bet, as to how this flammable cocktail would pan out. It works within those tricky and ludicrous plays on music that Zappa was pioneering back when his beard was black as the night, - that special music which had the tunes getting lost in a bewildering sonic labyrinth.

Just like the well orchestrated maze of Zappa that took the tracks beyond anything, we as the audience had heard before(at least in rock music), Nine Days´ Wonder challenge our sense of melody - as well as our preconceived notions of musical flow. This album turns on a dime, which in my book makes it all the more mind boggling - that the tunes often have a way of turning out like outright songs. Songs that you can sing! I know, I´m rambling again, but I actually find it pretty perplexing to hear music this fluctuating and challenging, to be so catchy and welcoming. It´s one of those things that Zappa was brilliant at too.

One other thing about this album, which I think is quite extraordinary, is the sheer spectrum of sound it permits, and that is without any organs, mellotrons or synthesizers. 3 of the prog heads most revered instruments are nowhere to be heard, but I honestly don´t miss them. The album is largely build up around the interplay between the wind instruments and the guitar. Sometimes you´ll be facing a distinct fusion fire that reminds me slightly of the feel Black Sabbath had back during tracks like Wicked World with that growling rocking jazz music - forcing you to tap your feet along to the bouncing beats. Other times the focus of these 2 instruments are somewhat divided, meaning that you get one echoing the other in a near jazz chase situation, albeit with a decisively heavier rock n´ roll touch. Both these trades are used wonderfully throughout the record, and then when the time is right - and the music has played itself out - the soprano sax is elegantly replaced by the Ian Anderson like flute and suddenly, without warning, the music has changed its skin. Welcome to an unrecognisable yet charming new face within the exact same song!

Although this band was playing out of Germany back in the day, the front singer here who also handles both wind instruments - is from Ireland. And with a bassist from Austria and a British drummer - what we have here is a multicultural melting pot. Maybe that is the catch! Maybe that´s why the music wound up this eclectic and varied? I frankly don´t know, but I do know how much I love dancing around to this little obscurity. It´s loads of fun, and again - pointing back at Zappa - these guys also exhibit a mad and slightly bizarre kind of humour, which really speaks to me. Many a times the front man sounds like he´s singing with an ice cube running down his back - you know that high-pitched, surprised and maniacal voice that almost tweets like some humanized stork running on hot coals. And you know how much I love my birds...

I think most prog fans will adore this album, and if you are into Zappa, Tull and Beardfish, or could imagine Gentle Giant without the medieval shadings all spliced up with a hefty dose of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, then damn it boy: What are you waiting for??!!!

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |

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