Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, September 17, 2021

Review: Wig Wam – Never Say Die

Label: Frontiers Music S.R.L.

Date: January 22nd, 2021

I could easily write: comeback of the year and finish this review, but nothing is that easy in life so…

I consider the Eurovision Song Contest as the biggest thrash in the Universe, but despite that fact I have been watching it even three times. Reason? Apocalyptica, Lordi and Wig Wam. Now, Wig Wam in 2005 and Wig Wam in 2021. Since 2001, when the band was formed, over their part ways in 2014 till reunion in 2021 a lot of water passed through the bridge.

Wig Wam was formed in 2001 by already established musicians who had been working hard to achieve commercial success. The irony of all ironies, Eurovision Song Contest brought them worldwide success. Their debut “667 … The Neighbour Of The Beast” (oh, well, oh well, any similarity with British colleagues is purely coincidental) that brought great sing-along songs (I avoid word hits).

After Eurovision adventure, Wig Wam released second album “Wig Wamania” and in 2010 “Non Stop Rock’n Roll” and “Wall Street” (2012) followed. After thirteen years the band just went separate ways.

After hiatus, Wig Wam is back on the worldwide music scene with the album “Never Say Die”, and, did I already write: what a comeback?!

The album opener, symbolically titled instrumental, “The Second Crusade” opens the new chapter of Wig Wam history. It flows to the title song “Never Say Die” which is the strongest song of the album. Åge Sten Nilsen sings better than ever supported by Teeny (Trond Holter), guitars; Flash (Bernt Jansen), bass; and Sporty (Øystein Andersen), drums. The video which follows the song clearly  shows the bands transition from big hair, make-up, spandex, feathers, bright colors and glitter to leather jackets, coats and vests, jeans, cowboy hats and combat boots. The transition is most noticeable in the video for the song “Kilimanjaro” which frames are actually kind of a retrospective.

“Hypnotised” goes in the direction of Whitesnake, you could easily think that Dave Coverdale released a new song, but it’s just fantastic Åge Sten Nilsen.

“Shadows of Eternity” delivers catchy, groovy rhythm, seductive voice, great lyrics which largely depict my life, especially the chorus:

“On the edge, going crazy
In the dark the fire walks with me
On the edge, somebody save me
From the shadows of eternity.”

Of course, Wig Wam did not forget to sing along with songs such as “Kilimanjaro”. Country guitar work in the style Jon Bon Jovi’s album “Blaze Of Glory” bought me at first listening.

As Åge Sten Nilsen said:

“‘Kilimanjaro’ is a reflection on the reckless lifestyle lived on the road and what that lifestyle can do to you. Fame and constant living in that bubble and false reality can be just as poisonous as drugs. I chose to make the main character in the song neglect his own revelations about his messed up past. Now he is back, falling into the same trap, and ready to crack..again…”

If you ever saw Wig Wam only as a mock band, just listen to “Where Does It Hurt”. Here, the guys are showing they can dig deep to and bring the strong message. Guitar work is excellent, vocal delivery in absolute other dimension then expected and I could freely say I am in I am in great doubt: “Never Say Die” or ” Where Does It Hurst”?

“My Kaleidoscope Ark” delivers touchy lyrics, what might be expected from the ballad.

“I don’t wanna live in the shades of grey
All colors would be gone if you went away
No magic rainbow dancing in the rain no
Grey the new purple, red and blue
My world would turn empty without you
Just a sad and lonely place
Don’t leave me in the dark
My kaleidoscope ark.”

If you missed the glam, here comes the glam! “Dirty Little Secret”! If for some reason I like this song, then it’s a little time travel, a return to my childhood when bands like Mötley Crüe were the center of my world. If you grew up on glam metal, there’s no way you don’t like the lyrics and that specific dose of humor:

“Ohhh so you like my bike baby
I like it too
But let’s keep one thing clear Sunny
This fine piece of metal wasn’t built for a spoiled rich brat like you.”

If I have already mentioned that two songs are fighting for the title of bestone, “Call of the Wild”, it can be said, is another serious candidate, especially the way its chorus chorus is sung.

“Northbound” is an amazing instrumental and I can already imagine the fans at the concert with lighters in their hands. Oh, you say it is the phone now? Sorry, I am old, I prefer lighters.

A bit of blues will not kill you. “Hard Love” again draws me back to Whitesnake opus and again vocal performance, if you allow me to say, might be better than Coverdale’s.

“Silver Lining” is another ballad, The Beatles vibe this time, and the great hook. Once it sticks, you could hardly get it out of your head.

“Never Say Die” is the perfect blend of hard rock, old school heavy metal and glam spiced with a touch of blues.

If I haven’t, I will write again: a lot of water passed under the bridge from the period of my childhood. I was growing up listening to Mötley Crüe, Skid Row, Poison, Cinderella, Hanoi Rocks, Faster Pussycat and many more. Trust me, I know what is glam, I know what is the great band, what is the great album. Wig Wamaniacs, what do you say?

Some might say never say never, Wig Wam say never say die. I hope they have learned their lesson during the hiatus years and that many albums await us in the future to come.