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

NINE DAYS' WONDER

Nine Days' Wonder

Crossover Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars This album must have one of the weirdest ever cover-texture (in its original German pressing) as it was a rubbery foam (not having aged well for the most part), but the music inside it was equally disturbed being a strange mix of what was the craziest music around. This very international group (saxman-flauter Earle is Irish, drummer Roscoe British, and the bassist is Austrian), NDW is one of those UFOs in terms of influences, and this album in its original version is worth a small fortune, and has been re-released with a different artwork too.

As much as I have been listening to this album, I always felt that it was rather impossible to describe the music succinctly without omitting a facet (or two, even three) of it, so would resume it as a bizarre cross of Beefheart's Zappa and a Crimson Machine with Purple Traffic. Only four tracks two of them multi-movement "suites", this is head-twisting dizzyingly-wild music, constantly changing with a few characters intervening here and there. All tracks and subsections are attributed to all the members and it hardly surprises once you heard it a few times.

As the group will fold soon after, John Earle left for England and eventually ended up in Gnidrolog, playing second sax on their classic Lady Lake.

Report this review (#101059)
Posted Thursday, November 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Guldbamsen
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Retired 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??!!!

Report this review (#606719)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. I absolutely love this album. It's hard to pin down as far as what style of music it is but I agree with the RYM site that this should be in Krautrock. The band was formed in 1966 in Germany but didn't release an album (this one) until 1971. Only 2 of the 5 members here are actually German though and the lineup would change on the next record. Some of the guys who were in this band would go onto play in ZYMA, GNIDROLOG,TWENTY SIXTY SIX AND THEN, JUD'S GALLERY, AERA and others. This is such an interesting, inventive and entertaining album.

"Fermillion" opens with a heavy guitar chord then the flute and keys take over before the heaviness drops in like a bomb. Vocals join in and I love the raw guitar here. The guitar continues to light it up as the vocals come and go. It settles with sax and a heavy rhythm. A jazzy vibe too before it turns experimental before 5 minutes. The sax is back a minute later as the drums pound and the bass throbs. Nice. The guitar starts to rip it up trading off with the sax. A change 8 minutes in with vocals. It speeds up before 9 minutes then slows right down with spoken vocals. Cool. It then kicks in with sax and vocals as the drums pound away. A calm 11 minutes in. It's haunting as we hear laughter. Now i'm laughing as the guy talking speaks like a woman. This is hilarious much like Monty Python. A change 13 minutes in as vocals come in then it turns heavy.

"Moss Had Come" continues the heavy sound with vocals. A calm with strummed guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. Laid back vocals join in then it kicks back in before 3 minutes,sax too. "Apple Tree" has some intensity and humour in it. A calm with sax before a minute. The tempo picks up 2 minutes in and the vocals stop as they jam with the guitar out front. Vocals are back late.

"Drag Dilemma" has an impressive instrumental intro then the guitar starts to lead then the vocals join in. Amazing ! The vocals and guitar trade off 2 1/2 minutes in. It's like the guitar is talking back. It kicks back in after 3 minutes. So good ! Flute after 4 minutes then the vocals are back before 6 1/2 minutes. A groovy beat here. Sax after 8 minutes then vocals a minute later. It's almost spacey after 10 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in. He sounds like Peter Hammill 12 minutes in as he gets theatrical.

My kind of music.

Report this review (#643562)
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Manheim-based act Nine Days Wonder started in 1966 under the name The Graves, led by drummer and singer Walter Seyffer.They became Nine Days Wonder in 1970, when Seyffer gathered a multi-national line-up, consisting of British drummer Martin Roscoe, Austrian bassist Karl Mutschlechner, German guitarist Rolf Henning and Irish multi-instrumentalist John Earle.They were signed by Bacillus, which released their self-titled debut in 1971, released also on Harvest with a different cover only for the UK market.

Nine Days Wonder played very complex and jazzy Kraut Rock with unusual vocal sections and extreme musical ideas, aking to the hardest moments of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR or KRAAN.Maybe the most extreme is the opening, long ''Fermillion'', a unique mix of Kraut Rock with endless jams, Heavy Rock with strong guitar moves, Funk with sweet sax solos and Jazz Rock with measured, improvised passages, spoiled by the needless, ZAPPA-esque but hillarious vocals towards the end.''Moss Had Come'' is a short Psych/Hard rocker with a sudden acoustic break at the middle, featuring some impressive sax moves.''Apple Tree'' is possibly the best track of the album.Again a furious and complicated jazzy Kraut Rock with sax in evidence is nicely blended with a softer vocal moment and very good Hard Prog sound towards the end with intricate guitar work.The closing ''Drag Dilemma'' clock at over 12 minutes and continues in the same vein yet with a bit more flexibility.Lots of nice interplays with sax, flutes and guitar battling, also lots of different displays like Classical-influenced parts, Proto-Fusion solos and Hard Rock offerings to go along with very passionate vocals.

Definitely pioneers of the German Prog, but maybe a bit too dense for their own goods, Nine Days Wonder debuted with an interesting album, lacking melodies and emotion, but filled with passion, energy and impressive music.Recommended.

Report this review (#914124)
Posted Friday, February 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is very diverse, adventurous and funny album, inventive too (sometimes a bit untypical factor for often rather a bit mechanical and predictable ideas and twists in German 70s prog). The musical ideas and motives are changing fairly quickly and mostly arent connected directly, often not very much developing too, but many motives are still interesting.

We can hear here influences with a bit of flavour of 60s beat, early Canterbury ala Soft Machine or Moving Gelatine Plates, wild and driving instumental jazzrock jams and sometimes a bit of hardrock riffs too. There are even some quirky and funny speech moments - the band has apparently some sense of weird humour too. All musicians are good (especially the later Gnidrolog wind instruments player). Vocals are sometimes similar to the band Gracious.

Only drawbacks to me are some occasional 60s beat and hippie feeling and a bit outdated and mushy recording sound.

Still great album with inspiring early 70s atmosphere. 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#1450446)
Posted Saturday, August 8, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nine Days Wonder's self-titled debut album is a stunning, audacious slab of craziness. And I mean that in a good way. The album consists of 4 tracks, "Fermillon" (divided into 5 parts: "Puppet Dance," Square," "Hope?," "Morning Spirit," and "Fermillon Himself"), "Moss had Come," "Apple Tree," and "Drag Dilemma" (also divided into 5 parts: "Monotony," "Stomach's Choice," "Monotony 2," "Interlude," and "Dilemma"). I won't go into detail for each track, mainly because there is so much going on with each track that I just don't have the time. However, take some Zappa, 70's hard & psych rock, folk, loungey jazz, a dash of krautrock, and add in some progressive elements and that should give you some limited idea of what this album is about. The album is energetic and never boring. I would have given it 5 stars had it not been for the really freaky spoken word part, "Morning Spirit," from the "Fermillon" suite, which goes on too long and is super weird (even for my taste). Nevertheless, I highly recommend this album of quirky German wackiness for anyone who is even remotely interested by the description above. 4.5 stars.
Report this review (#1514957)
Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | Review Permalink

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