Like Wendy - Endgame

Year of Release: 2004
Label: LaBraD'Or Records
Catalog Number: LBD 040018
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:45:00

What would happen if you were to combine Moody Blues and some BJH with Porcupine Tree and add a sprinkle of authentic seventies analogue finesse to the whole? I guess you'd probably end up with a style which is very reminiscent of Like Wendy's latest offering Endgame. Some of you will be dazzled to learn that this release is already the sixth Like Wendy release. All issued on the LaBraD'Or label, the Like Wendy debut stems from 1998 when The Storm Inside was issued. Then followed Rainchild, Tales From Moonlit BaySummer In EdenHomeland. Like Wendy is the "nom de plume" for Bert Heinen, a Dutch multi-instrumentalist who flirts both with pure seventies prog as well as more accessible neo-prog and beyond. On the first three albums Heinen was helped out on drums by a certain Marien, whom in the end seemed to be a mere pseudonym for the man himself Bert Heinen! On his fourth effort he occasionaly used the voice of Mark-Jeroen Heek, only to do everything by himself again on his fifth album Homeland.

Not only is this new album the first in a stylish digipack, Endgame also is the first full collaboration between Bert Heinen and Mark-Jeroen Heek. The band's website has been under construction for years now, so there's little information to go by. Although Like Wendy has now turned into a duo rather than one-man-and-his-dog, the music still very much sounds like old school Like Wendy. We now have the odd harmony vocals whilst some parts sound a little harder, more direct than what we have been used to for years now. The opening track "Mock Me!" perfectly illustrates this as soft piano and acoustic guitar come right after some furious synth parts. There's also some ingenious production towards the end of the song in order to fuse this with the ballad "Radioactive Girl" (sounds like family from PT's "Radioactive Toy"). Its build up is simple yet very effective with a main role reserved for a wonderful voice and lush guitar- and synthsolos taking it to the height of post-Fish Marillion combined with Jadis magic. "Seventeen" embraces that strong melody throughout whilst floating on an alternative stream of sounds. A modern rhythm, sixties "ah-ah-ah" vocal harmonies, seventies mellotron and timeless Moog are the backbone for "Money For Monkeys" where Heinen and Heek even seek and find the possibility to integrate pipe organ. Synths galore during "Moria" as well, yet although Like Wendy surely has a lot of fantastic musical ideas they (instead of "he"), don't seem to find the recipe for a catchy song that sticks to your mind and can be categorized as the Like Wendy classic. It's as if Like Wendy only has the knowhow to create a great album as a whole, without trying their best to turn their attention to just one song and turn this into something extra special.

Endgame definitely is not the "end of the game" for Like Wendy, as it most certainly is filled with great music. However, when listening to this material and the already released music I can't help but think that the best is yet to come. Watch this space!

Mock Me! / Radioactive Girl / Subs / Seventeen / Money For Monkeys / Moria / Endgame

Bert Heinen - all instruments, vocals
Mark-Jeroen Heek - all instruments, vocals

The Storm Inside (1998)
Rainchild (1999)
Tales From Moonlit Bay (2000) Summer In Eden (2002) Endgame (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: September 19th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1325
Language: english


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