CD Review: Full Nelson by Massive Wagons

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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.

Visit Massive Wagons at www.massivewagons.com

Music Midtown 2015 Recap

Photos and Review by Danielle Boise

Friday, September 18 kicked off the 5th invocation of Music Midtown in Midtown Atlanta at the luscious Piedmont Park. Since Music Midtown’s rebirth in 2011, after a lengthy reprieve, it had come back stronger and better each year, with varying lineups and additional stages for the 2-day fall festival to truly bloom into something special. And this year was no different, with a brilliant crossed section of music that had a little something for everyone with a great exposure to not only established acts, like Van Halen, Sir Elton John and Lenny Kravtiz to newcomers to the music scene, like Elle King, Vinyl Theatre and Alessia Cara. From the “Renegades” to “Bad Habits” to “American Woman” and “The Bitch is Back,” you couldn’t have come up with a more clever lineup, even Foy Vance did a cover of Fleetwood Mac to perfection.

 

Festival goers enjoying bathing in the sun to the sounds of Darryl Hall & John Oats

Festival goers enjoying bathing in the sun to the sounds of Darryl Hall & John Oats

 

Music Midtown was also an interactive experience, it had the Coor Light Lounge where a DJ would spin tunes while festival goers created their own vinyl art that they could take home. At the Jack Daniel’s booth you could take your chance with a wheel, circa The Price is Right style, and win prizes, including hats, lip balm and sunglasses. Around each corner there were giveaways vying for attention.

 

Coors Light Lounge #CLreFRESH

 

As always, the weekend was about the love and expression of music, while being surrounded by friends, and of course determining a plan of action. Figuring out which artist was playing at what time and stage. Devising a blueprint to the day, one that consisted of either being in constant motion by running to catch half of this band to the next or staking out the perfect location at the front of the stage, even if it meant spending the entire day in one spot, to have the chance to be as close as possible to your favorite artist. Regardless of the scheme, running or staying, it was a truly magical time; with the absolute perfect weather in the lower 80s, the aroma of delicious food from the food truck alley to drinks pouring all day long, and of course the memories shared with new and old friends alike. Music is what stitches us together in our lives into one moment to the next; it’s at the center of who we are and I for one cannot wait for next year’s Music Midtown for more memories, music and fun.

 

Getting lost in the moment.

Getting lost in the moment.

 

Top Five Personal Moments from Music Midtown 2015

Lenny Kravitz walking out on stage, he’s performance was utterly fluid and totally sexy and it’s Lenny Kravtiz – nothing else needs to be said.

All the deliciousness of Lenny Kravitz making an appearance on the Music Midtown stage, as Kravitz's last stop of his STRUT Tour.

All the deliciousness of Lenny Kravitz making an appearance on the Music Midtown stage, as Kravitz’s last stop of his STRUT Tour.

Elle King, attitude, sass and all the ‘Love Stuff,’ ‘nough said.

Loved Elle King's sass and a mouth like a sailor. What a perfect combo.

Loved Elle King’s sass and a mouth like a sailor. What a perfect combo.

Billy Idol, no one can sneer like the king of “Flesh For Fantasy.”

Nothing is better than Billy Idol's '80s rock'n'roll in all his glory.

Nothing is better than Billy Idol’s ’80s rock’n’roll in all his glory.

Emily Haines of Metric and all her hair blowing around.

Adored Metric's, Emily Haines hair's movement as it floated about - it was pure bliss.

Adored Metric’s, Emily Haines hair’s movement as it floated about – it was pure bliss.

Finally, David Lee Roth and all those tattoos with a cowboy hat, what a wonderful surprise.

Never in a million years would I have imagined Roth moving from his long hair days of the '80s to short hair, tatted up with a cowboy hat. What a delight.

Never in a million years would I have imagined Roth moving from his long hair days of the ’80s to short hair, tatted up with a cowboy hat. What a delight.

Friday Lineup Photos

Faces of Music Midtown

Vinyl Theatre

Kodaline

Tove Lo

Elliot Moss

Hozier

Jenny Lewis

Alice In Chains

Metric

Saturday Lineup Photos

Face of Music Midtown

Colony House

X Ambassadors

New Politics

Alessia Cara

Elle King

Rozzi Crane

 Billy Idol

Icona Pop

Panic! at the Disco

Lenny Kravtiz

Van Halen