I don’t recall that there’s ever been another album or band that has been hyped and anticipated as much at least amongst the progressive rock circles. Wobbler not only lives up but surpasses that hype on their debut Hinterland. Laser’s Edge’s promotion on this really paid off and from what I read, the band was received rather well at NEARfest 2005.
Wobbler’s sound recalls bands such as King Crimson, Genesis and Gentle Giant. They also are on par with some recent bands like Änglagård and White Willow. Call it prog, retro or whatever, just remember while the band isn’t treading new ground, it is giving the prog community a nice look back done by a modern band. Wobbler’s music also has a vintage feel to it, a warmness about it unlike some of the more modern mechanical sounding bands. Just like in the mainstream, even progressive rock tends to go back to it’s roots. This is a plus for some of us that weren’t around or aware of the originators of the genre.
Hinterland is a 4 song album with three, count them, three epics. One of which is almost at the 30 minute mark. The shortest track is the first song, Serenade For 1652, which in my opinion could have been incorporated into the title track. The Hinterland song takes you on an aural journey with it’s melodic almost quiet spots to the thunderous parts that recall the Crimson comparison. The other two tracks are equally impressive. This is one of the very few albums I can listen to in one sitting.
One thing I have to stress with Hinterland, don’t expect to hear something groundbreaking or high tech BUT do expect one hell of a fun listen again and again This is for fans of vintage symphonic rock. It really t doesn’t get much better than this folks. Believe me, I was a sceptic when I heard about all the hype. This is one of my favorites releases of 2005 and it gets a high recommendation for sure!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 4th, 2005