March 13, 2023
Photo: Frederik Arrf.

Any new album by this Norwegian glam/sleaze rock band is always a joyous occasion as they are quality purveyors of heavy but glitzy, spangly glam rock that is delivered with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek humour and is always a life-affirming journey down the sleaze rock highway of life!

Wig Wam formed in 2001 in Halden, Norway and quickly made a name for themselves which actually led to the band representing their homeland in Eurovision in 2005 and finishing a very respectable ninth place with the song In My Dreams – all this from a country that developed an underserved reputation for finishing with ‘null’ points and how we all smirked, it’s funny that what goes around comes around.

Wig Wam has always delivered cheerful and exuberant music that puts a huge grin on your face and ensures that your toes are soon tapping and then it’s up on your feet as the music sweeps you away. They released four albums with 2012’s Wall Street being the last as they broke up in 2014 to concentrate on other musical interests with vocalist Åge Sten Nilsen having his own solo career as well performing with another glam band in Ammunition and the pairing of Trond Holter (guitar) and Bernt Jansen (bass) putting together the very impressive projects Dracula: Swing Of Death and Vlad The Impaler which came out under the Holter name. However, you cannot keep a good band down and they came roaring back with the appropriately titled Never Say Die in 2021. Wig Wam had started to beef up their sound on the Wall Street album becoming more of a conventional rock band although they retained a flavour of the party rock band and this heavier approach was very evident on Never Say Die too but, again, it was always delivered with a joie de vivre that elevated their delivery making them something very special indeed.

Out Of The Dark is now the band’s sixth album and is very much a continuation of what we saw with the last release as they continue to develop and build upon their earlier Kiss meets Sweet glam musings and are now very much more of a Motley Crüe, Skid Row, L.A. Guns band. Remarkably, they have kept the same line-up since formation which means that this team remains as Glam (Åge Sten Nilsen) on vocals, Teeny (Trond Holter) on guitars, Flash (Bernt Jansen) on bass and Sporty (Øystein Andersen) on drums and I just love it when musicians adopt a new name giving them an alter ego which then allows them to go crazy and push the boundaries of music and even sanity to the limit!

It’s strange that you can mention glam and most think back to the bubble-gum bands of the Seventies and automatically assume it was a matter of style over substance but the glam bands could play and if you check out any of the Sweet albums from 1974 onwards you will find that they were an exceptional heavy metal band that could also break the single charts by adapting their style but they were all rockers at heart and this showed through on the albums. This is also the case with Wig Wam as they have retained the light-hearted flavour of their earlier material but this is now backed up with a steel core that ensures that the music is razor sharp and as heavy as hell. They still retain the intriguing party rock flavour imparted by the glam elements but this is most definitely a hard rock album to savour and shows that when it comes to the music then Wig Wam is a serious as hell.

Åge Sten Nilsen again shows his class and I have previously compared his delivery to that of a young David Coverdale and that remains the case with excellent backing from the band making his job so much easier and in Trond Holter they have a guitarist capable of shredding with the best and this is perfectly demonstrated with his work on the instrumental track 79 which calls to mind Eddie Van Halen at his best. The songs are all perfectly written and delivered with aplomb as the band takes you on a real roller coaster of a ride with plenty of great melodies, vocal harmonies and excellent musicianship as they rock and roll throughout the exquisite album. The band’s stock is very high at the moment especially as they have been discovered by a whole new audience due to their song Do Ya Wanna Taste It being picked up in 2022 by James Gunn as the opening theme for the HBO Max show Peacemaker as well as In My Dreams being featured on the Peacemaker soundtrack. I haven’t seen the show and had previously never even heard of it but if it brings in a new audience then it has done its job as Wig Wam is a band name that should be on everyone’s lips.

If you are looking for hard rock with an infectious set on songs and a slightly left of centre delivery then give the band a listen as I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Out Of The Dark

  1. Out Of The Dark (4:28)
  2. High And Dry (3:34)
  3. Forevermore (4:56)
  4. Bad Luck Chuck (3:48)
  5. Uppercut Shazam (3:52)
  6. Ghosting You (3:49)
  7. The Purpose (4:40)
  8. The American Dream (3:51)
  9. 79 (4:23)
  10. God By Your Side (3:45)
  11. Sailor And The Desert Sun (3:02)

Out Of The Dark is out now via Frontiers Records, the album will be available on vinyl 12 May 2023