Winger - 'Better Days Commin'

 


THE BAND:
Kip Winger - vocals & bass
Reb Beach - guitars
Rod Morgenstein - drums
John Roth - guitars



TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.)"Midnight Driver of a Love Machine" - Before the musical intro this track opens with the background noise of someone closing a car door and starting the engine.  To connect the background noise with the musical intro you can hear the siren of an emergency vehicle.  The musical intro opens with a very simple rhythm guitar riff.  The emergency siren runs underneath the opening rhythm riff.  This rhythm riff continues through the verse.  Underneath the lead vocal lines and rhythm riff Rod keeps time with a bass drum kick.  There are two different rhythm guitar arrangements underneath the lyric lines of the musical verse.  As the musical verse progresses Rod added a few tom-tom licks to his drum line.  There was a very short caesura underneath a vocal accent connecting the musical verse with the musical pre-chorus.  For the musical pre-chorus there was a rhythm guitar change.  For the rhythm guitar change of the pre-chorus both Reb and John switch and begin to play the same guitar rhythm.  Underneath the lead vocal lines of the pre-chorus Kip sings several vocal accents.  The backing vocals of the chorus gave the chorus a sweet hook.  For the chorus the producer turned Kip's bass up.  This allowed for the bass line to bleed through the rhythm guitar arrangement. Reb's lead guitar solo was after the second chorus.  The lead guitar solo lead to a short breakdown section.  Underneath the lyric lines of the third chorus Reb played several lead guitar licks.     
2.)"Queen Babylon" - This track opens with a single rhythm guitar riff.  After about one measure a second rhythm guitar riff kicks-in.  It is also at this time the rest of the band kicks-in.  Underneath the rhythm guitar riffs of the intro there was a small keyboard arrangement.  The riffs Reb and John play for this intro had a catchy yet mean sound to it.  Thee where several cymbal crashes connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  The musical and lyrical verse had a mean sound to them.  The chorus had a huge Winger hook attached to it.  There was a short musical rest connect the first musical chorus with the second musical verse.  After the second chorus there was a huge Reb lead guitar solo.  Reb plays several lead guitar licks underneath the chorus repeat of the coda.

3.)"Rat Race" - This track opens with a single intense rhythm guitar riff.  After the riff was played once John kicks-in playing the same rhythm riff underneath Reb.  This gave the intro a very intense sound.  For the musical verse Reb and John play the same rhythm riffs as the one they played for the intro section.  The only difference is they incorporated a few fill-in rhythm chords.  Musically and lyrically the verse had a huge intense feel to it.  Same with the chorus it just had a huge intense feel.  After the second chorus there was an intense twin lead guitar solo. 
4.)"Better Days Comin'" -  For me the rhythm guitar arrangement made this sem- ballad.  All in all this song had a late sixties early seventies rock feel to it.  There was a very cool Kip bass line connecting the first verse with the second chorus.  The lead guitar solo was after the second chorus. 
5.)"Tin Soldier" - This track really showed Kip's music arranging talent.  

6.)"Ever Wonder" - This was a very simple ballad that was reminiscent of some of the stuff Kip wrote for his solo release.
7.)"So Long China" - This track opened with a fairly simple intro arrangement.  The only thing the intro was lacking was a minor lead guitar solo.  There was a small rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The lyrical chorus had a very simple melodic hook attached to it.  After the second chorus there was a short musical change. 
8.)"Storm In Me" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The musical arrangement of the choruses had an abstract feel to it.  This was mainly due to the effects that were added to Kips vocals.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo section. 
9.)"Be Who You Are, Now" - This was a very well written ballad.
10.)"Another Beautiful Day" (bonus track) - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  Though the song had an intense feel it wasn't nearly as intense as the choruses were.  Scattered throughout the verse were several lead guitar licks.  Reb's lead licks are what made the song.
11.)"Out Of This World" - The pre-intro to this track opened with a keyboard arrangement.  The band kicks-in for the main body of the intro.  The musical pre-verse had a small abstract feel to it.  For the musical verse the band incorporated an acoustic guitar arrangement. After the chorus there was a small musical build-up that lead to a lead guitar solo.  After the second chorus there was a breakdown section that consisted of a lead guitar solo over the top of an acoustic guitar arrangement.  The lead guitar solo run over the top of the coda.  As Reb played the solo it got more intense.


 

     In August of 1988, I bought Winger's self-titled release. I must admit I purchased the release not because of the first single titled, "Madalaine" or because I really cared for the band much. The sole reason I bought the CD was that the band I was playing in at the time wanted to learn a few songs off from the CD. 
     It really was not until the band released their third CD titled, 'Pull' in May of 1993 when I really noticed just how well of a songwriter Kip Winger was.  It was then when I became a true fan of the band. 
     Due to the climate change within the music business and their fascination with the up and coming music genre Grunge record labels were not putting very much time in promoting Hard Rock/Heavy Metal.  Due to this Kip made the fateful decision to disband Winger.  After a seven-year hiatus, Kip re-united Winger with John Roth (Black Oak Arkansas, Giant) in replacement of original keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor and released 'IV' in 1996.  'Better Days Comin'' is the third release since Kip has re-united the band.  This release picks up right where their 2009 release titled, 'Karma' left off.  Anyone who is familiar with Reb Beach knows he is a beast on lead guitar and most if not all the solo work on this CD shows this.  John Roth is no slouch either.  One of the many high points musically was the production.  Kip's bass was turned up more on this release than any of Winger's earlier material giving the fans a chance to hear just how great of a bass player he is.  Something else you will notice especially if you are a long time fan is Kip's vocal sound.  Not a song on the CD sounded like Kip was singing.  All in all this is a decent release.  If I had to rank the CD I would say it is better than Winger's first two releases, not as good as 'Pull', however just as good as their last three.  If you are a fan of Winger's than this is a definite must buy.  However if you're not a huge fan, even though I feel the CD is worth checking out, you probably should spend your money on a release you will play more than a couple times.