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WISHING WELL Sin And Shame

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Monday, March 27, 2023 @ 9:10 AM


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WISHING WELL
Sin And Shame

2023 Inverse Records




It’s been three long years since Helsinki, Finland’s WISHING WELL released their third album, Do Or Die. Finally, the fourth album from the band, Sin And Shame, is nearly here. There have been a few lineup changes since Do Or Die, namely the change at lead vocalist. Pepe Tamminen is the band’s new singer, replacing Rafael Castillo. Pepe does a great job here, and has enough in common with Rafael that he should easily win over WW fans. The new bassist is Matti Kotkavuori, who replaces Rick Becker. These two new members seem to fit nicely into the WISHING WELL scheme of things. The lineup is completed by longtime members Arto Teppo (keyboards), Juha Kivikanto (drums) and band leader Anssi Korkiakoski (guitar).

Lead track “In The Line Of Fire” (video on KNAC.COM HERE) is fast-rocking and heads down the highway in classic WW fashion. The band always has a killer opening track, and this is no exception. “Soul Rider” slows down a little to a mid-tempo and features introspective lyrics with a sing-along chorus. “Space Invaders” (video on KNAC.COM HERE) is a killer track, full of Anssi’s riffs and Arto’s spacey keyboards and vocal effects. The fact that they wrote a song about the classic video game is just cool! Longest track (at nearly seven minutes in length) “Mistress of The Night” is a driving composition full of guitar and keyboard riffs that remind me of the great songs the band has recorded in the past. “Lonely Road” is a ballad of sorts, while favorite cut “Dogs Bark But The Caravan Rolls On” careens along with a confidence similar to classic DEEP PURPLE. Check out that organ! The title track, “Sin And Shame”, is of course the centerpiece of the album, and addresses religious themes. It’s one of the more aggressive tracks on the album. This is a fantastic job of singing from Pepe, and the mix of Anssi’s guitar work and Arto’s organ are infectious and draw the listener in. Juha’s drumming and Matti’s bass are highly detailed here as well.

Check out the instrumental interlude “Heavenly Body”, which gives Arto a chance to show off his organ playing skills. This track sets up the excellent ballad “Dancing Across The Stars”; the subject of astrology is a mainstay of WW albums. “The Golden Rule” has that magical sound and the soul-searching lyrics that WW are known for. The album closes with the instrumental “Flying Finn”, which reminds me a little of BLUE OYSTER CULT at times, and that’s always a good thing.

Sin And Shame features 11 songs and clocks in at nearly an hour in length, making this the longest WW album thus far. The production and mix are once again top of the line. WW albums sound better than most out there these days. I had a lot of fun listening to Sin And Shame, and in the end isn’t that what it’s all about for the listener? Bottom line: despite the lineup changes, WISHING WELL is four for four. Is this my favorite WW album? Probably not, but it’s got enough classic elements and solid songs that to keep me coming back for repeated listens. Sin And Shame will be released March 31st by Inverse Records.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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