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Wishbone Four album review - NME, 19 May 1973 by Julie Webb
A year since the much-acclaimed “Argus” album which served as the record that finally established the band, we are presented with “Wishbone Four”. And what a difference. What happened to the Wishbone we used to know? What have you done, Wishbone?
If “Argus” was the album when the band were at their peak of manipulating those dual guitars, this is something else. On first hearing they seem to have completely disregarded their recognisable clean, pure style of playing in favour of a more commercial funky noise. Certainly it doesn’t come across as any sort of progression from “Argus”.
But listen again, my friends. There are still (though admittedly well hidden) Wishbone qualities - a certain poignance, perhaps - a sad, almost wistful approach to some of the tracks. Listen in particular to “Everybody Needs a Friend” which, by virtue of the lyrics, should be a song of comfort - yet exudes sadness.
This is the first album the band have produced themselves and while I have no qualms about their musical abilities, their production is a different matter. Vocally, the band have never been strong, so it’s a pity to see the vocals given so much prominence - in favour, it appears, of those two genuinely singing guitars.
The last album was the first time the band concentrated on writing songs, as opposed to putting out pretty guitar riffs, and this one shows they’ve had a rethink about the direction of the band. I only hope for their sake it is the right direction. With advance orders in excess of 30,000 “Wishbone Four” is already a success. And 30,000 people can’t be wrong. Or can they?