The Wring – Spectra
Having reviewed the previous album by The Wring, their new album “Spectra” brought no surprises. Main man Don Dewulf has though, employed a new set of musicians to join him on this latest project. One name that instantly stands out is Marco Minnemann, who must be one of the best drummers around. Along with being the current skin basher with The Aristocrats, Marco has played with just about everyone under the sun.
Another prolific member is vocalist Chandler Mogel, who may or may not be familiar to you. Having recorded over 400 songs in his career so far, he is certainly making a name for himself. His style of vocals is just right for this material, anything else would sound out of place.
Completing the recording line-up for this release are Reggie Hache – Bass & Keyboards and Isamu McGregor – Keyboards. So, Don has managed to put together another fine band for this album.
Opening track ‘Stiletto’ has a bright start but deals with a serious subject matter. It concerns the debilitating need for social media attention and validation. Although to start with, it sounds like a straightforward rocker, there are some odd time signatures. Marco’s drum parts were recorded first on this track, giving the rest of the band the task of equalling his performance.
The Wring – Stiletto (click here if the video does not play)
Don hails from a mining town in Northern Ontario, Canada. “Sometimes it feels like a place where music goes to die” he says, “just stones and bones.” Planned as an ode to Deep Purple ‘Stones & Bones’ finished up a more sublime number. The intended Jon Lord homage by Isamu ended up being pushed deeper into the mix.
I’ve never read Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ but Don obviously has. It inspired him when writing ‘The Prince’. It ended up as a lively, melodic rocker with a jazzy chorus with an odd time signature. Oddly the last minute of this track is silent. Whether this is deliberate is unknown, or maybe it’s just my copy.
This is followed by an instrumental called ‘The Wolf’, which is great and perhaps my favourite track on the album. Don used a 7-string guitar on this one, giving it a gritty resonance. Growling bass along with keyboard and guitar solos combine to lift the whole thing, making for a very pleasant track.
Bringing things down a gear, ‘Tin Man’ is slower but has some great riffs. Then a quick drum flourish from Marco leads into ‘From Mars’ (which we exclusively premiered a few weeks ago) and staccato riffs from Don. He says it is one of his favourite songs on the album, and I can see why.
The opening notes of ‘Sins’ remind me of the opening salvo in Judas Priest’s ‘The Ripper’. Some of the riff structures are also reminiscent of Priest and it’s another great track which brings us to the last song.
The staccato intro to ‘Fallen’ is Don’s interpretation of a crowd of rioters. He was inspired to write something powerful in response to the protests and civil disobedience in both Washington DC and Ottawa. This is a fine finisher and a bit of an antidote to those terrible events. There’s a great solo in the middle and a powerful ending.
It took me a while to get fully into this album, but it’s a grower and gets better with every play. When I reviewed the previous album ‘Project Cipher’ “Spectra” was already being written. I would be surprised if Don isn’t working on the next project, and that is something to look forward to indeed.
- Stiletto 4:40
- Stones & Bones 4:58
- The Prince 3.54
- The Wolf 5:00
- Tin Man 5:25
- From Mars 4:43
- Sins 4:43
- Fallen 5:05