Wonderland

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Corey Apar
Along with like-minded Seattle peers Gatsbys American Dream, Forgive Durden continues the recent overarching punk fascination with the concept album on their Fueled By Ramen debut, Wonderland. More specifically, the band produces an album of critical social commentary based around the imaginary world of Wonderland -- a place driven by corporate greed and corruption where people slave away all day in cubicles unfulfilled and ultimately watch their lives pass them by. So, uh, who's to say Wonderland is merely a figment of the band's imagination? The story line unfolds and escalates with multiple characters leading the way (the land's creator, unhappy workers, etc.) before ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Corey Apar
Along with like-minded Seattle peers Gatsbys American Dream, Forgive Durden continues the recent overarching punk fascination with the concept album on their Fueled By Ramen debut, Wonderland. More specifically, the band produces an album of critical social commentary based around the imaginary world of Wonderland -- a place driven by corporate greed and corruption where people slave away all day in cubicles unfulfilled and ultimately watch their lives pass them by. So, uh, who's to say Wonderland is merely a figment of the band's imagination? The story line unfolds and escalates with multiple characters leading the way (the land's creator, unhappy workers, etc.) before ending on a rather dismal note for the workforce ("No matter how far we go/There's no escaping the glow...Wonderland is now our home.") Fantastic artwork is included throughout the liner notes that play a notable part in moving the plot along with wonderful visual representations of the songs. Musically, the group is at heart a pop-punk band, but Forgive Durden indulges itself significantly with diverse instrumentation (throwing -- among other things -- banjo, saxophone, mandolin, and keyboard parts into the mix) and varied tempos that often change course, speed, and direction multiple times within the same song. Regardless of the bouncy, start-stop, toe stubbing, turbulent playing, the record flows rather nicely from track to track with a moody energy that fits the ominous and perceptive lyrical agenda directing each song. However, despite best intentions, some songs lack a strong hook and initially sound quite similar to one another, despite their sheer randomness. Most, though, do manage to find at least one standout moment to alleviate this problem, such as the rollicking percussion breakdown at the end of "Il Tango Della...," or the shimmering buildup of emotion in "I've Got a Witch Mad at Me and You Could Get Into Trouble." Even customary additions like background vocals and handclaps appear only with targeted placement, and chances are high that more unique distinctions within tracks will likely appear with each successive spin. As the first release from Forgive Durden's current lineup, Wonderland serves as a surprisingly solid debut for an ambitious band that is presumably more than just a bunch of passive Fight Club fans. Enthusiasts of the aforementioned Gatsbys will go nuts over this album, and with good reason.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/9/2006
  • Label: Fueled By Ramen
  • UPC: 645131208323
  • Catalog Number: 83
  • Sales rank: 300,558

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Forgive Durden Primary Artist
Casey Bates Percussion
Thomas Dutton Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
Thomas Hunter Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Keyboards
Jesse Bauer Bass, Percussion
Andy Mannino Drums
Anthony Becker Baritone Saxophone
Nico Hartikainen Percussion
Spencer Mertel Accordion
Technical Credits
UE Nastasi Mastering
John Janick Executive Producer
Casey Bates Producer, Engineer
Dusty Diamonds Artwork, Art Direction
Thomas Dutton Art Direction, Screenplay
Johnny Minardi Art Direction
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