Album Review: Full Nelson by Massive Wagons


Across the pond, there has been a stir about a band bringing back the classic sound of British hard rock. Massive Wagons, the guys behind this hullabaloo, have been infesting the UK with their contagious energy after nearly a decade of live shows and two killer studio albums. Their sound definitely has that classic 80s hard rock feel that brings back nostalgic memories for some and a longing for more from younger rockers. I would put them as a blend of Van Halen, The Struts, and a pinch of Motley Crue, which makes sense as the band has recently been working with Mike Exeter, the famed engineer behind Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. However, as similar as these guys are to that classic hard rock sound, Massive Wagons have given the world a fresh take on rock and roll to speak for a generation that has lost its spotlight as the glory days of MTV have been lost.

The guys got their start back in 2009 as a local act in Lancaster, England Barry Mills and Adam Thistlethwaite were playing in a local act called Ace Face. The duo decided to break off on their own to form a new paradigm in the music scene focused on rock and roll. After collecting their remaining soon-to-be bandmates to venture forth on their quest for fame, the band hit the ground running. After self-releasing their first album Sniff The Riff and playing hundreds of shows, Massive Wagons caught the attention of independent label Casket Record. From there the guys have put in the work and garnered enough attention to become a well-known rock band around the UK with aspirations to bring their sound to America.

Massive Wagons’ most recent hype has been around their new album Full Nelson slated for release on August 10th. After giving the album a listen, I instantly fell in love with their music. Each track isn’t just a song but an entire soundscape that transports the listener into a nirvana of good rock and roll, as is expected from any good stadium rock band. I get the same goosebumps listening to Massive Wagons as I do listening to AC/DC or Van Halen. Off the bat, the album opens with Massive Wagons’ new single “Under No Illusion”, which is a headbanger from the first note. The album then creeps through track after track of gems, with another single “Billy Balloon Head”, and one of my new favorites to blast while driving, “Sunshine Smile”. Buried in the album is “Robot (Trust In Me)”, a track that Mike Exeter helped with that is pure bliss to the ears as it reminds me of early Metalica. There is a lot to listen to in this track as the composition of it is just off the wall. Following “Robot (Trust In Me)” is a remake of their single “Back to the Stack”, their tribute song to the late Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, another well-composed track that really shows the respect Massive Wagons has for the giants’ shoulders that they have launched their career from. That kind of respect, especially being highlighted as an entire song, shows the true character of this band. To finish out the album, Massive Wagons chose their hit single from 2016 “Tokyo”, a song off their album Welcome To The World that broke various iTunes top 100 charts. Definitely a strong choice to anchor the album, almost as a farewell to their listeners until the next time they pop Full Nelson into their CD player.

As Massive Wagons grows their brand of sensational showmanship and polished tunes, you should expect to catch the fever of their energy and enthusiasm for hard rock. The only cure for such a fever is to fill your ears with some of their music, be it their new upcoming album Full Nelson or one of their older ones that propelled them to where they are today.

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