It pays to listen to more than the first 10 seconds of an album. That seems obvious, I know but with “Get Lost” by Italian prog rockers Wandering Vagrant, it’s essential. The opening ten seconds of “Human Being as Me” has some very awkward sounding harmonies that fortunately yield to some AWESOME riffing. And that is the main selling point for Wandering Vagrant, riff after riff is really great.
Style wise, they sound a LOT like Riverside. While I do love Riverside, I think a band with the talent that Wandering Vagrant have, they should be able to evolve to their own unique style. Although when I first heard Riverside’s “Out of Myself” I remember thinking they sounded too close to Porcupine Tree. Now when I listen back to that album, I don’t really hear that because I think Riverside did take that blueprint and work it into their own thing. The same will probably be true for Wandering Vagrant.
Regardless, there is no denying that the music on “Get Lost” is really, really good. While I don’t think the vocals are quite as strong as the music, they aren’t bad and certainly are better than the opening few seconds. “The Hourglass” has both great meaty riffs and top notch soloing. This is just an amazing song that points a clear direction to what Wavering Vagrant can do in the future. It’s more THEM than them trying to sound like someone else. It’s easily my favorite track on “Get Lost.”
The music is so good, it does make me wonder if a band like this really needs vocals at all. It holds your attention firmly without vocals. Quite an achievement. The vocals on “The Hourglass” start so late in the track, you think it’s an instrumental. And yes the vocals almost sound out of place because of that. “Struggle” has one bad ass riff and some killer keys while “Forgotten” showcases the band’s acoustic side. Not really keen on the vocals on “Forgotten” which I think is because lead vocalist Alessandro Rizzuto and backing vocalist Francesca Trampolini (also on keys) just don’t sound good together.
The starting and closing riff on the title track sounds REALLY close to Porcupine Tree’s “Always Never.” So close that I thought maybe they were playing it as part of the song. They certainly could go into the song. The riff is brief though, just at the start of “Get Lost Part I” and at the end of “Get Lost Part II.” One time through in each case, plus the rest of each song is full of many other riffs that are quite original.
Wandering Vagrant could be the next Riverside or the next Kingcrow. They have that same heavy modern prog style and do it quite well. The band have the riffs, the atmosphere and dynamics that I love about bands like that. The vocals could be the thing that holds them back. It’s too soon to say though. To be clear, they aren’t BAD, they just aren’t of the same quality as the music. “Get Lost” is definitely an album that fans of that sub prog genre should check out.
Kudos to my buddy Matt Phillips who mentioned this band to me before the band sent a request to have their album reviewed.
1. Human Being As Me
2. The Hourglass
5. Get Lost, Part I (Fade Away)
6. Get Lost, Part II (The Hunger)