Wunderbugg is basically a one-man horse (keyboardist Whidden Flores) and it shows. Self-played, self-produced, self-engineered efforts tend to be self-indulgent, monochromatic, and much too narrow banded. Transgradulate, a banal neologism on top of everything else, sounds like the sort of amateur throw-together made just after some kid's parents bought him a cheap Korg or Casio and a Fostex 4-track. Tossing in Ani Johnson's occasionally Jon Anderson-ish vocals helped not at all.
The promo lit unbelievably (very unbelievably) claims that Mike Garson and Sky Cries Mary are fans of Wunderbugg. In that case, Garson, a very good keyboardist, must've gone deaf, and Sky Cries Mary obviously took the title of their early Stooges cover too seriously—they've fallen. Amid the mishmash, painfully distorting frequencies, and general clamor, there are a few good ideas and an acceptable coloration or two, but way too few and much too far apart. Attempts at Gary Numan fall quite short, and the heavy prog slant is about the only virtue saving Transgradulate from falling into the swamp completely…and, Jesus!, those drum machines! Did Flores learn no lessons from the wreckage of Giorgio Moroder and Walter Murphy? Expect the morons over at the Gnosis website to go nuts over this, though.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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