Album Review :
Puddleglum - Where the Wondering Got Us

By in Reviews | 2 Comments

Label: Roxx Records
Release Date: October 7th, 2022


  1. Everlasting Love
  2. All I Ever Do
  3. You Know the Drill
  4. Five Fingers and Five Toes
  5. The One Who Needs to Change
  6. The Welcomed Never Overstays
  7. Do You Really Want to Get Well?
  8. Everybody’s Sick
  9. Utopia for Sale
  10. In the Land of Knights

This album came out last October, but I was only recently made aware of it when guitarist/vocalist Craig Phillips reached out for coverage, just before moving to Eurasia to work overseas. Although released on Roxx Records, Where the Wondering Got Us is a distinct departure from the label’s usual heavy metal roster.

On the contrary, Puddleglum have a sound that revels in reminiscence of the 1990s. It’s what one might call ‘slacker rock.’ It’s fairly simplistic alternative rock, or maybe just rock and roll. The songs, musically speaking, feel lazy though not necessarily in a bad way. They’re not trying to win awards for musical proficiency or showmanship. They’re just trying to write some decent and fun songs that reflect deeply on the meaning of life, and more specifically what it means to be a disciple.

And herein lies the beautiful irony of the album–while the music on the album is most in line with, say Poplife by the Lifesavers, or perhaps the laziest, slacker-est songs by Dinosaur Jr (without the punk edge), lyrically they’re channeling Chesterton, L’Engle, Manning and so forth. Even the band name is a reference to Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia; Puddleglum is a principal character from The Silver Chair, a marsh wiggle who comes across as gloomy and pessimistic, though by his own admission he is less so than other marsh wiggles.

The literary reference is fitting for the band, as the lyrical content on WTWGU is both pessimistic and hopeful, all at the same time. Pessimistic in regard to the songwriter’s ability to live fully for Christ in his own power; and hopeful and fully trusting in Christ to do what one cannot do for himself.

If you don’t like mildly sloppy, understated alternative rock, I’d suggest you steer clear of this release. However, if you like raw and honest reflections on the walk of discipleship, set to 90s-style slacker rock, you might want to give this a listen.

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Timo Cuoco
September 6, 2023 5:23 pm

I’m guessing this is them also? I remember when Roxx was advertising this album

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