South African Rock Royalty WONDERboom release new album Hard Mode

South African Rock Royalty WONDERboom release new album Hard Mode
(Photographer Daniel Craig)
For 28 incredible years, Johannesburg’s WONDERboom has been a formidable force in the music industry. This dynamic quartet, known for their ceaseless creativity and electrifying live performances, continues to evolve and outperform their own musical legacies. Thriving on the chemistry shared both on and off stage, WONDERboom captivates audiences with a diverse sound that spans rock, funk, punk, and afro-dance.

With 9 albums, numerous festival headlining gigs, 5 ‘Best Rock Album’ nominations at the South African Music Awards and opening for Guns ‘N’ Roses in 2018 during their South African tour. They won the 2004 Global Battle of the Bands South African leg and secured the second position globally at the finals in London. Known for hits like Never Ever, On The Radio, Something Wrong and Ooh La La the quartet has left an indelible mark on the South African music scene. Their achievements include winning gold at the Silk Road Indie Music Festival in China and releasing the ‘WONDERboom 25’ essentials compilation album for their 25th anniversary.

Now, celebrating their creative journey, WONDERboom is set to release the album “Hard Mode. The inspiration behind the album stems from the band’s appreciation of life and the challenges faced as brothers and humans surviving the effects of the pandemic. The title humorously reflects their tendency to tackle things the more difficult way, symbolizing their choice to find fulfilment in overcoming obstacles and adversity. The album explores various themes, from the call to action in “My Name Is Freedom” to the trappings of staying relevant in “Hip,” offering a reflective snapshot of the band’s current experiences.

Guitarist Martin Schofield and Vocalist Cito Otto share a seamless songwriting workflow, giving birth to songs with unique personalities. The duo embraces experimentation, allowing ideas to evolve organically. Pre-production is meticulously done in personal studios, with each song getting its own treatment before band collaboration. The recording process involves starting with drum tracking to set the foundation, followed by building layers to complement the feel laid down by drummer Jono.

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The album features a blend of live source mic recording and experimentation with digital plug-ins and unusual organic soundscape tracking. Working with the talented producer Matthew Fink, the band explored various guitar tones through different amps, guitars, and plug-ins. The use of live upright piano, percussion, claps, and even whistles add a dynamic layer to the overall sonic experience.

“Hard Mode” is set for release on 22nd March 2024 via Just Music and will be available on all major streaming platforms.

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