Wunderbugg – Transgradulate (CD)

“Sick Wrong World” is one of the most interesting tracks to be heard on “Transgradulate”, meaning that there is a definite step taken to craft a rich foundation that later parts of the track can then work off of. When the vocals do finally enter into the equation, there is a darker, more earthy feel to “Sick Wrong World” that touches on a number of different genres and styles. This means that there are nods to both eighties and nineties goth music, while hints of The Cranberries, Suzanne Vega, and Tori Amos all can be heard at different points here.

The vocals are even more impressive considering the fact that they further the intricacy of the arrangements present in the track, providing listeners with a constantly-shifting track that will require a number of listens before listeners can be sure that they fully understand what the band has laid down. “Dream Catcher” starts out with a very early eighties veneer, tying together “People Are People”-era Depeche Mode with Philip Glass neo-classical and Utah Saints dance touches. Again, where Wunderbugg shines the brightest during “Transgradulate” would have to be in the instrumental side of things. The vocals, when they are present, bring things to a higher level but there is no discounting how rich of a story that the instrumentation on the title provides listeners. Each song on “Transgradulate” will impress fans , regardless of whom their favorite artists may be.

“Dream Catcher” can work on a Madonna, DJ Sammy, or even an Eurhythmics or New Order level. “Pandora’s Box” continues the strong trend of tracks going, with a little bit of Middle Eastern influence scattered around the introduction to the track providing further tools for Wunderbugg’s toolbox. The track’s five-plus minute runtime goes by quickly, as a number of twists and turns will lead listeners to a point that is significantly different than where they started the track; give special attention to the Herbie Hancock-like dedication to unique time signatures here. Finally, check out the titular track for a track that simultaneously exists in the past, current, and future; there is a density of composition here that rivals that of even “Sick Wrong World”. The distinctive, unique sound of Wunderbugg is cultivated through the entirety of “Transgradulate”: a few full listeners to the CD will show listeners the same beauty and brilliance that I am trying to impart with this review. Check the band out around Washington and Nevada in August.

Top Track: Dream Catcher

Rating: 8.4/10

Wunderbugg – Transgradulate / 2009 Self / http://www.myspace.com/wunderbuggispimp

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