It still baffles me why the credibility challenged MTV decided to use Winger as the genre's whipping boy back in the 90s. The collective musical talent of these 4 guys was and remains beyond the grasp of 99% of the bands elevated to hero status during the 90s on that network. And as if to prove the point, Winger remain actively kicking ass in their 26th year.
Better Days Comin' is the new album, the band's 6th studio album and one that fits snuggly between the darker vibe of IV and the looser, old-school sounding Karma record.
In fact, Better Days Comin' almost sounds like a greatest hits album for the band.
Of the 11 tracks on the special edition, there's something touching each facet of the band's styles over the years. It is a compelling record that boasts musical intelligence, awareness of what the fans want and a touch of adventure.
Within the record you get the best of early Winger - the hard rocking party boys that seemed a step ahead of the pack musically - with the anthemic driving trio of ass-whipping tunes Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine, Queen Babylon and Rat Race (possibly the most furious Winger tune yet). Better Days Comin' is something new and fresh with its quirky chorus and breezy pace.
Winger IV gets a nod with the dark, progressive and technical rocker Tin Soldier and Ever Wonder reminds me of the mature and atmospheric ballads from Karma.
So Long China has a hard edged verse, yet a breezy melodic chorus – the contradiction of the two aspects and the layered instrumentation making the song a highlight.
Latter day Winger gets another nod with the distorted, effects heavy modern rocker Storm In Me which contrasts starkly with the orchestral influenced moody ballad Be Who You Are, Now.
The bonus track Another Beautiful Day is another dirty modern rocker which leads into the also dark, but optimistic Out Of This World – a soaring ballad that oozes class and instant appeal.