In 2009, Winger released one of their strongest albums to date with Karma. I am excited to see Winger perform some of the new songs at the M3 Rock Festival this weekend. “Deal with the Devil” and “Stone Cold Killer” are two of the new songs off of Karma that the band has performing in their live sets. Both songs are some of the hardest songs that Winger has done in recent years.
Winger is back with a brand new album, Karma and they are ready to kick your ass. While they may have been the butt of some heavy metal jokes back in the day (thanks Beavis & Butthead), Karma is no laughing matter. I don’t know what Kip and the band have been doing over the last couple of years, but I know this, they’ve worked hard to put out an incredible new record.
Karma opens with the hard hitting “Deal With The Devil”. The drums and guitars kick in immediately, and then Kip launches into the vocals. The first thing noticeable about Kip’s voice is that it sounds eerily like David Coverdale’s. This happens throughout most of the record. Kip is older now, so his voice probably changed over the years, but the high notes are no longer his friend.
“Big World Away” is a heavy rock song with a touch of grunge and a lot of grit. Beach’s stand out guitar is felt immediately, and Kip’s “David Coverdale” voice really gives this song a Whitesnake feel with a Winger chorus. It’s a song that gets your feet tapping and will have you listening over and over again. “Big World Away” will definitely hook you on Karma and have you proclaiming what an excellent record this is.
The guitar work on this record is nothing short of fantastic. Even the songs that aren’t spectacular (fortunately that’s just a couple) are saved by the guitar solos. It’s amazing the amount of work that went into the guitar playing for this record. Reb Beach should be celebrated for the amazing work he has done. His guitar licks are all over this record and every one of them sounds incredible. Beach really makes this disc shine.
“After All This Time” is a great power ballad, part of the 1-2 set of ballads to close the album. This is a slow, melodic rocker with balls. The heavy blues influence can be felt in this song about still being in love after many years have passed. Once again, Beach’s guitar solo is fantastic and inspiring. If I was a teenager hearing this for the first time, it would force me to get a guitar and learn how to play.
Karma closes with the absolutely stunning “Witness”, an amazing power ballad with the emphasis on power. Witness is a closer that leaves you wanting to hear more. This is one of the few songs on Karma where Kip Winger’s voice shines through. The feature guitar solo to close the track is one of the greatest I’ve heard in a long time. Simply breath taking and it totally fueled my desire to hear this song live.
With incredible guitars, solid lyrics, and well written, beautifully crafted songs, Karma is poised to thrust Winger back into the spotlight and the center of the mainstream. If they team up with another 80s hair metal act for a summer tour, expect sellout crowds at most stops along the way. Winger is back, let the party resume!
Karma will be released on October 27th in the United States.
Rating: Out of 10
- Deal With The Devil
- Stone Cold Killer
- Big World Away
- Come A Little Closer
- Pull Me Under
- Always Within Me
- Feeding Frenzy
- After All This Time
Kip Winger (bass and vocals)
Reb Beach (lead guitars)
Rod Morgenstein (drums)
Cenk Eroglu (keyboards, rhythm guitar)
John Roth (rhythm guitar)
Frontiers Records proudly announces the release of WINGER’s fifth studio album entitled “Karma” on October 16th in Europe and October 27th in the USA.
WINGER reunited after more than a decade in 2006 for the release of the successful come back album entitled “IV” a record that pushed forward the boundaries of WINGER classic sound to new heights. Dealing with the concept of the military life and what it was like to be a soldier, from a soldier’s perspective, leaving politics at the door. “After Winger IV we toured the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan during which made a live record” says Kip Winger. “When the chance came up to do a new Winger record, I envisioned a upbeat totally rocking record that was a cross between the 1st Winger album and Pull. So Reb and I sat down and wrote all the music in a month or so. I worked for 6 months to finish it in the classic Winger style”.
The result is an amazing new record where the four band members: Kip Winger (bass and vocals), Reb Beach (guitars now also in Whitesnake), Rod Morgenstein and John Roth shine with an incredible instrumental and vocal prowess at the service of superb Hard Rock songs but with an uncanny sense of melody. The title itself “Karma” represents Winger completing its full musical circle as Kip Winger explains “We were discussing the very interesting path the band has had and we have all been through so much together. So we went for “Karma” as this is a word that truly sums up the experience of being in the band”.
WINGER debut album in 1988 on Atlantic achieved platinum status in the United States, and gold in Japan and Canada sporting such hits as “Madalaine“, “Seventeen” and “Headed For A Heartbreak“. In 1990, the band was nominated for an American Music Award for “Best New Heavy Metal Band”. Shortly after, WINGER released its second album “In the Heart of the Young“, which went platinum in the U.S. and gold in Japan. The album included WINGER’s biggest hit “Miles Away“, who topped at #12 of Billboard charts in the USA. Their third and last studio album, “Pull“, was recorded in 1992/93 as a three-piece band, following the original keyboard / guitar player Paul Taylor’s departure. Produced by Mike Shipley, on the following tour John Roth was called in to replace Paul Taylor.
“Usually Winger fans don’t “expect” anything because they know we do what we feel like doing artistically” explains Kip. “It is not a commercially driven band. I can say that the songs are very upbeat”. Reb Beach adds: “It’s a very up-tempo riff driven rocking record. It has the elements of vintage Winger from ‘89 but has the blood, sweat and tears of years 20 years of writing, recording and touring!”
“Karma” will be released with the first pressing in limited digipak edition and includes the following songs:
Deal With The Devil; Stone Cold Killer; Big World Away; Come A Little Closer; Pull Me Under; Supernova; Always Within Me; Feeding Frenzy; After All This Time; Witness; First Ending (Bonus Track). Also included there will be an Electronic Press Kit, with footage filmed in the studio during the recording sessions, that is playable on all computers as an interactive bonus.
Winger also announced their forthcoming European tour in support to the new album’s release
20-Nov ITALY – Roma, Crossroads
21-Nov ITALY – Pinarella di Cervia (RA), Rock Planet
22-Nov ITALY – Pavia, Thunder Road
24-Nov FRANCE – Paris, Maroquinerie
25-Nov BELGIUM – Verviers, Spirit of ’66
26-Nov HOLLAND – Weert, Bosuil
27-Nov RUSSIA – Moscow, Plan B
28-Nov RUSSIA – Ufa, Rock Club
30-Nov GREECE – Ioannina, n.a.
1-Dec GREECE – Athens, Gagarin/tbc
3-Dec GREECE – Thessaloniki, n.a.
4-Dec DENMARK – Copenhagen, The Rock
6-Dec POLAND – Warsaw, Progresja
7-Dec CZECH REP. – Prague, Exit/tbc
8-Dec AUSTRIA – Wien, tbc
9-Dec HUNGARY – Budapest, A38
11-Dec SWITZERLAND Worblaufen, Tibis
12-Dec SPAIN Madrid, Ritmo y Compas
More dates will follow in 2010 in Europe, USA and elsewhere !