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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Wilfred N And The Grown Men - 1987 Thunder On The Tundra
Wilfred N And The Grown Men - 1987 Thunder On The Tundra

ARTIST: Wilfred N And The Grown Men
ALBUM: Thunder On The Tundra
LABEL: Zonik
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Wilfred Kozub - vocals, keyboards * Jamie Philp - guitars, mandolin, tapes, moog * John Towill, Jim Serediak - bass * Les Evenescher - drums, background vocals * Mike Mattson - percussion * John Valleau - vocals * Brenda Philp, Jamie Philp, Dominique Roy - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take Time * 02 Sailing On A Cruiser * 03 I Could Get Closer To You * 04 Nobody Is To Blame * 05 Other People * 06 The Rain * 07 Thunder On The Tundra * 08 The Man In The Moon * 09 I Only Believe In You * 10 I Spy * 11 It's All A Dream


As a collector I've come across so many albums over the years that after a while the musical surprises become less frequent than they used to be. Buying records and CD's now means I am a little more discerning as to what I put my hard earned money down for, and these days with so much music available at the touch of a finger, it's so easy to be overwhelmed by sub standard music - be it old or new. 'Thunder On The Tundra' by Wilfred N And The Grown Men is one of the few LP's I've bought this year and based on the description comparing the record to Wings, Klaatu and Pet Shop Boys, I simply couldn't resist. Never heard of 'em? Me neither, but apparently a duo of Wifred Kozub and Jamie Philp have quite a following in their hometown of Edmonton, Alberta and have been releasing albums recorded in their basement studios on their own for several years now, each quite different from the previous.

The Songs
'Thunder On The Tundra' is a remarkable, spacious and lush record. I don't hear anything remotely close to Wings so I'm not sure where that comparison came from but if Klaatu had focused less on emulating the Fab Four's psychedelic excursions and lasted a few more years, this is what they would have sounded like. Take away the 'Englishness' of the Pet Shop Boys, add The Beach Boys super sunshine harmonies and you have a winning brew to warm the coldest winter night. Kozub's synth work is stellar and the music is uplifting and sparkles like snowflakes with melodies to die for. There's not a duff track here, but the opening 'Take Time', the incredible Pet Shop pop of 'I Could Get Close To You' and the Peter Gabriel - like 'The Rain' are classics. Hell, they're all excellent, each cut in an album that flows seamlessly from beginning to end.

In Summary
Yes, once in a while a musical surprise hits broadside making collecting all the more worthwhile and 'Thunder On The Tundra' was that record for me this year. Of course, this has spurred my interest for the other Wifred N and the Grown Men releases which are not that easy to find unfortunately, but that's part of the fun of collecting so the hunt is on. The duo's web site reveals an exploration of Hawaiian music on their latest release and I wonder what's next?

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