Arriving in 1999 on a mission to recreate vintage early-1970s progressive rock vibes, Wobbler has evolved into one of Norway’s leading symphonic prog bands, distinguished by Lars Fredrik Froislie’s ubiquitous infatuation with vintage keyboard sonorities.
The group’s music is multiflavored, adventurous and enigmatic. From one song to the next, edgy guitar riffs give way to poignant melodies while harmonious, melancholic verses build toward powerful crescendos. Is that a spinet weaving through those dense arrangements? Colorful dashes of flamenco and
Italian opera motifs? Your ears do not deceive you.
Wobbler signed with Norway’s Karisma Records in 2017 for release last autumn of its fourth full-length opus, From Silence to Somewhere. While fans might find the album darker and more introspective than its predecessors, the trademark Wobbler sound employing copious strains of mellotron, Moog synthesizers, Hammond organ, Chamberlin and other classical analog keys, as well as “proggy” Rickenbacker bass, remains very much intact.
Of course, with only four albums in 18 years, Wobbler can’t be called prolific as Froislie has other irons in the fire, working concurrently with White Willow, Tusmorke, In Lingua Mortua and Opium Cartel. But the band he founded with high school chums looks to plug along as a recurring touchstone and treasured labor of love.
Recounting Wobbler’s marathon stroll through the mystical forest of Norwegian prog, Lars admits to being joyfully dissident —both in terms of resisting modern music technology and adopting the prog mantle early on.
“Although I had been listening to the likes of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer for years, it took me until 1998 before I became fully aware of how magical the progressive rock genre really was,” he recalls. “And as the media hated it, prog became extremely interesting for me because an obscure genre hated by the mainstream was exactly what I was looking for! We were rebels with an anti-commercial attitude who loved Norwegian black metal, which also was ignored by the media while being loved all over the world.