CD Review

Wino – “Innocent Bystander”

By Marcus Pan

Innocent BystanderMichael Connolly on drums, Chris Farrell on guitar and singing, Anthony Gurner on bass and Nick James also on guitar and singing. That’s UK’s new rock/punk band Wino. A three track demo arrives from them recently and I’m digging it. Like a cross between Clash level punk and alterna-rock a’la Smashing Pumpkins, Wino are simple but effective in their music.

Not Caring is Not the Answer opens our demo with standard fare guitar work, bass and drums and male whiny vocals that are really one of the better examples out there. I’ve heard a lot of this style, and it’s pretty good. The band is new, so I’ll let them practice a bit to link up and tighten up, but they are certainly on the right track and seem to have the skills it takes to keep it up and do well with it.

The main problem, I think, that Wino is going to have is song length. At over four minutes per track its going to be tough to hold audience attention for that long with each track – the Ramones were lucky to do more than a 20 minute set in their entire careers yet still played ten songs during it as an example. Not Caring is Not the Answer throws in a bass solo breakdown thing that is, if a little boring, an attempt to hold your attention for the 4+ minutes the track runs.

The Lights are a nice ballad tune, but as you near 3 minutes you might start looking for something else to do, as well played as it is notwithstanding. Open Wound Sunday is nearly 4 ½ minutes lengthwise and closes our taste of Wino on this demo. Also ballad like in make-up, it has the same attention-deficit troubles as the others.

Wino will have to cut their hooks short a bit I think. They’re playing is fine, their capabilities and songwriting is excellent. But they noodle a bit too much maybe and push their song times over the edge. I’m digging each track for the first 3 minutes, but then my mind wanders.

Contact Information:
Phone: 07946 092 016