Grandious, over-the-top, out-of-date, overblown and synfully fun, Wobbler’s Hinterland is a massive slice of prog-rock that will come as a godsend to fans of 70’s bands like Yes, ELP and Gentle Giant.
Wobbler is a Norwegian group that plays prog music in the traditional style, with no real attempt to update it for the new millenium. For prog fans, though, once they hear the playing, it won’t matter. Hinterland is like a time-capsule to 1973, and a chance to hear prog-rock in all its glory and excess anew.
While Hinterland doesn’t offer anything that you’d call cutting edge, neither do most electronic music records one hears. What the album does offer is some fantastic keyboard work, courtesy of Lars Fredrik Froislie. Froislie plays Hammond organ, squeeling Minimoog solos, Mellotron orchestration, grand piano, organ, Rhodes, Clavinet, Harpsichord, Arp, Solina String Ensemble and even Stylophone. Froislie’s solos on organ and Minimoog on Rubato Industry brought to mind Rick Wakeman in his heyday. Buy that man a cape!
In addition to Froislie’s tasty prog keyboard work, the CD includes Martin Kneppen on drums and percussion, Morten Eriksen on guitars, Kristian Hultgren on bass and sax and Tony Johannessen on vocals.
The music features all of the classic elements of prog-rock: jagged rhythms, falseto harmonies, tight drum/bass synchronized sections, layered keyboard work, tracks that go on for close to a half-hour, recorder interludes, vaguely neo-classical sections and even some rock flute soloing.
You’ll have to search out Hinterland, because it’s unlikely that you’ll hear any of these tracks on the radio. Besides the short prelude, the tracks are all extended prog-rock suites. The shortest, Rubato Industry, clocks in at 12:44. But, if you ever have had a soft-spot for prog-rock in its glory days, it’s well worth looking for.
- Serenade for 1652 (:41)
- Hinterland (27:46)
- Rubato Industry (12:44)
- Clair Obscur (15:37)