Out Of The Dark

rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Out of the Dark
02. High N Dry
03. Forevermore
04. Bad Luck Chuck
05. Uppercut Shazam
06. Ghosting You
07. The Purpose
08. The American Dream
09. 79
10. God by Your Side
11. Sailor and the Desert Sun

Still best known, internationally at least, for being Norway's entry for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, WIG WAM are a big, colorful and knowingly dumb hard rock band with a history of great success and several acclaimed albums under their studded leather belts. Between 2001 and 2014 they were a steady and celebrated presence in the European melodic metal scene, with neither their remorselessly tongue-in-cheek demeanour nor their flagrant use of spandex counting against them. They split in 2014, only to reconvene five years later, with an even more vigorous spring in their step. The last time we checked in, for 2021's boisterous comeback effort "Never Say Die", WIG WAM were sounding as irrepressible as ever, and possibly even stronger and a little more imaginative for all those years spent off the grid.

You get what you pay for with bands like this. With a suitably huge production that brings '80s tones and textures howling into the 21st century, "Out Of The Dark" is designed to put smiles on faces and it's hard to imagine a situation where it wouldn't. The title track turns up the missing link between PRETTY MAIDS and HELLOWEEN and tells listeners everything they need to know in a snappy four-and-a-half minutes. "Forevermore" is all PRIEST-ian pomp and rabble-rousing (and very German) purity; "Bad Luck Chuck" rides the glam metal train to DOKKEN Central, which has a predictably inspirational effect on vocalist Glam, who duly spins through his broad repertoire like David Coverdale on fast forward.

You may be getting the picture by now. Like STEEL PANTHER with fewer jokes but just as many razor-sharp references to the revered past, WIG WAM clearly have this stuff nailed. It's great fun listening to them having such an effortless good time, particularly when they dig deeper into the heavy end of their sound on songs like "Uppercut Shazam" and "God By Your Side". Touched by the bluesy hand(s) of VAN HALEN on the goofy "Ghosting You"; waist-deep in Tawny Kitaen's tears on ballad "The Purpose"; lithe and sinewy, like a vegan W.A.S.P. , on the cheerfully snotty "The American Dream".

WIG WAM have an infectious will to entertain etched into their souls. For all their unashamed silliness and love of stretchy fabrics, this band remain a serious proposition. But in a fun way.

Author: Dom Lawson
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