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)