Wobbler - From Silence To Somewhere,
Mellotrons, how do I love thee, let me count the ways, one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand. I can’t help it, the first time I played this I got an image of Roger Rabbit in my mind and it won’t get out! But, instead of a fluffy white rabbit in a film where Bob Hoskins was cruelly denied in Oscar, what we have here is the Norwegian quintet back with their fourth studio album. To say that this album is making waves in the prog scene is something of an understatement: as I write this, after 138 ratings this is the top ranked album from 2017 according to ProgArchives, and by a country mile the top ranked Norwegian progressive album of all time. So, critically it’s not doing too bad at all!
The one thing I can’t really make my mind up on with this is whether I should say in the review if the album belongs from 1971 or 1972: part of me is having an argument with the rest to say that it could be as late as 1973 but I’m ignoring that at present. This is classic retro prog as they say, in that not only has it take the influences of bands such as classic Genesis, ELP and Yes but have decided that there is no need at all to move any further and can stay quite happily there and expand on the themes, musical motifs and styles. At this point, progressive rock truly becomes a genre and style, as opposed to music that is challenging boundaries and creating something that is different and exciting. This is where I have another discussion with myself in that part of me gets annoyed that a band is attempting to move music back forty-five years, but the rest of me says “who cares when the music is this damn good?!”. Maybe I should start taking tablets… Anyway, there is no denying that this is an amazing album in many ways. If you are the type of discerning proghead who bemoans the demise of flares and sitting cross-legged at gigs while partaking of various illegal and legal substances, then this is for you. To be honest, this is something that progheads simply can’t ignore as pretty much all will love it to one degree or another, as it really is quite special. Did I mention the Mellotrons?