WYZDOM – Through The Looking Glass [digitally remastered] (2019)
Formed in the early 80s, Minneapolis’ WYZDOM recorded this debut album “Through The Looking Glass” in 1988, released by themselves. Now thirty-one years later finally gets reissued digitally remastered.
Wyzdom’s sound & style mixed American AOR with edgy hard rocking guitars, with pretty unique lyrics based on mysticism and the occult.
Wyzdom transitioned through many line-up changes, with founder vocalist / keyboardist Mark Nesser and guitarist Dave Sanborn being the longest attending members. Over the years the band has penned well over 100 different songs. These would include a 2-song 7” single, this full-length album, an unreleased EP, and three additional unreleased albums.
By 1988 the Wyzdom line-up would consist of Nesser, Sanborn with rhythm section Rick Kremer on bass and drummer Kevin Chambers. That same year the band decided it was time for their full length album. The four piece locked at Control Sound, Minneapolis MN to tape “Through The Looking Glass”, released by themselves on cassette for promotion and recording label shopping.
The release would be followed by several live gigs in support of the album and radio airplay. This buzz would attract much label interest, yet still, that elusive record deal would never come.
However, Wyzdom would continue to play local gigs, write and record new songs, alongside more personnel changes and even change the band’s moniker to Wild Child at one point before eventually closing the book and ending the band in the ’90s.
Although officially disbanded, Wyzdom would go on to almost a cult-like following, garnering attention in forums and social media by fans of the genre and collectors all over the world, with their cassette being heavily traded.
And that’s because “Through The Looking Glass” is a very good album, with strong songs and a solid production for an indie.
Just check the catchy ‘The Fire Keeps Burning’ with some Keel on it, the second half of ’80 AOR of “All Your Love” (brings to mind After Hours) and title track ‘Through the Looking Glass’ (a highlight with ‘that’ synths), or the ‘Americanized’ TNT sound of ‘Waiting for You’.
‘Not Afraid to be Strange’ is another winner, with a pulsating melodic hard rock rhythm and keyboard flourishes all over.
Never it’s too late, and certainly “Through The Looking Glass” deserved to be reissued / remastered. As said, production is very good, the songs well written and strongly performed, packing that ’80s magic with AOR keys, sharp guitars and clean, powerful lead vocals / harmonies.
This is the digital version of the reissue, the physical CD release includes extra songs Wyzdom recorded a year later.
01 – The Fire Keeps Burning
02 – All Your Love
03 – Chase Your Dream
04 – Bridges of Magik
05 – Through the Looking Glass
06 – No One’s Gonna Rock You
07 – Waiting for You
08 – Not Afraid to be Strange
09 – When I Look into Your Eyes
10 – The Promise Land
Mark Nesser – Lead Vocals and Keyboards
Dave Sanborn – Guitars and Harmony
Kevin Chambers – Drums
Rick Kramer – Bass