In the spring of 1999, a group of young musicians gathered in the scenic countryside near Hnefoss, Norway. Their common ambition: To create expressive musical compositions reminiscent of those from the early 1970s. To appropriately achieve this, they would employ many of the instruments from that period as to bring a very authentic feel to the music. These new progressive rock compositions would eventually be crafted and molded under the moniker, Wobbler.
Wobbler is the brainchild of keyboard wizard/enthusiast Lars Fredrik Frislie, who is now also a member of White Willow, as is flute player Ketil Einersen. Lars and Ketil along with bandmates Martin Nordum Kneppen (drums, recorder), Kristian Karl Hultgren (bass), Tony Johannessen (vocals), and Morten Andreas Eriksen (guitars, mandolin) have spent the last few years honing their sometimes-dark but uplifting and energetic music both in the studio and on stage. The band received rave reviews from their recent shows in Europe including a mind-blowing performance in Oslo, Norway. Wobblers music is strongly influenced by symphonic progressive greats of the past such as PFM and Il Balletto di Bronzo, classical music, and folk. Even Scandinavian contemporaries such as nglagrd and Anekdoten seem to have had an influence on Wobblers music.
Since mid-2003, there have been two ambitious tracks for download on Wobblers website, Imperial Winter White Dwarf and Leprechaun Behind the Door. The latter is included on the ProgDay Support CD, Kinections. These two tracks made waves across the progressive rock online community and started a buzz well ahead of any debut album release. These demo tracks certainly show off Wobblers heavy symphonic prowess, but to the surprise of their small but quickly growing fanbase, were not chosen by the band to be included on the first album, Hinterland.
The tracks on Hinterland (The Lasers Edge) are both long and complex, like their demo brethren. The title track clocks in at a whopping 28 minutes! However, these tracks are more mature and have been painstakingly shaped into dark symphonic masterpieces. Vintage keyboards (Mellotron, Hammond C3, Mini-Moog, harpsichord, etc.) run rampant on the album, both exemplifying Lars affinity for the instruments and providing sonic ecstasy for fans of keyboard-laden symphonic progressive rock. Sweeping dynamics emphasized by engaging acoustic guitar and flute melodies allow a bit of time for the listener catch his breath during the invigorating journey though Wobblers musical landscape. Close friend Jacob Holm-Lupo of White Willow assisted the band in both recording and production. The album was expertly mastered by Bob Katz, who applied modern production techniques while maintaining the desired vintage feel of the music. The album is a true aural extravaganza.
When Wobbler was officially formed, they had two goals: 1. Make an album (perhaps even release it!), 2. Play at NEARfest. They went on to say that, Now it seems that both of them will be fulfilled! After this we could either just quit or perhaps make one or two new goals. After hearing Hinterland, more goals are certainly in order.