Massive Wagons 2012 debut album ‘Fire It Up’ was one of those “bolt from the blue” moments. Playing off a traditional ‘AC/DC’ Rock’n’Roll flavour while maintaining their own unique style and sensibility, ‘Fire It Up’ helped push this Lancashire quintet from small local pubs to Hard Rock Hell and beyond in a heartbeat. But with such a fearsome debut how would this bunch of big riggers be able to follow it up?
‘Dirty Little Secrets’ proves that the debut album was no fluke. Fierce boogie rock guitars provide the swagger as a powerhouse rhythm section drive the crankshaft to breaking point. At the helm Baz Mills bites and snarls with his foot firmly on the accelerator.
‘SWT’ is proper good time party song with elements of Georgia Satellites Battleship Chains and Great White’s Once Bitten Twice Shy. Track three, ‘Mother’ harks back to 70’s Rocks and Draw the Line era Aerosmith while ‘Fight The System’ is a rerecording of the song that originally appeared on their debut album and now sounds closer to the live version.
‘Look Around’ is Massive Wagons first proper attempt at a ballad and it’s a fantastic tune that is understated yet emotive. It’s back on the accelerator for ‘Rising Tides’ a blast through an AC/DC style Rock’n’Roll number complete with anthemic chorus. ‘Red Dress’ calms the pace down again while keeping the anthemic rock theme well and truly alive with allusions to the Quireboys and even Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
‘Black Witch’ is a sinister and seductive bittersweet rocker while ‘Truth’ is a chugging steam-powered locomotive that’ll carry you along like you’re an aggregate hopper. Massive Wagons really have grown as songwriters and testament to this fact is ‘Roll With The Rhythm’, the second ballad off this new album and another beautifully crafted song.
The Wagons plunder Soundgarden territory for ‘Alive’ a song that allows Mills to flex his vocal muscles and the rest of the band to indulge themselves musically. ‘Blood Rain’ seals the deal with another memorable riff and strong, compelling melody.
With an intoxicating selection of songs, Fight the System is not only the most solid work Massive Wagons have produced to date but shines brightly enough to be that seminal album that could well be a future classic. Mucka Jay challenged me to find a favourite song but like a parent trying to choose their favourite child, this is something that has proved impossible to do. To say that this record is full of awesome music is an understatement because if any track fails to send your fists pounding wildly into the air then you’ve obviously got no arms! Like a speeding 18-wheeler down a quiet country road, Massive Wagons second album is one that’ll rattle the windows and shake the foundations until your quaint little cottage is dust.
01 Dirty Little Secrets
04 Fight The System
05 Look Around
06 Rising Tides
07 Red Dress
08 Black Witch
10 Roll With The Rhythm
11 Blood Rain
Massive Wagons are:
Baz Mills – Vocals
Adam Thistlethwaite – Guitar
Carl ‘Flash’ Cochrane – Guitar
Bowz Bouskill – Bass
Alex Thistlewaite – Drums and smelly arse [sic]