The Lancaster lads are back with their fourth album of no nonsense rock. The band have been well known in their neck of the woods for best part of a decade, but thanks to the festival scene the band have been appearing on everyone else’s radar for the last few years. Now signed to Earache Records the band have upped their production values accordingly, but their down to Earth sound remains.
Under No Illusion may start things off with a torrent of drums and guitar, redolent of most classic rock, but their quirky lyrics soon tell them apart. They’re like the grittier version of The Darkness: unashamed to play to genre tropes while adding their own stamp.
They decry social media on the witty China Plates and have some fun with Billy Balloon Head. Their more serious moments on tracks like Ballad or Verdun Hayes and the working class paean Northern Boy give us a glimmer into their maturity as songwriters and musicians. The celebratory solo at the end of the latter recalls November Rain and is It’s just the start of an album that wears its heart on its sleeve in terms of honouring their influences.
Robot (Trust In Me) has the feel of Rob Zombie’s Dragula and Metallica’s Enter Sandman. Back to the Stack is perhaps a more obvious example, and a fitting tribute to Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt.
Frontman Barry Mills once again scores full marks for his energetic an solid vocal. Where he leads the rest of the band follow. Full Nelson feels as though Massive Wagons have put their music into cruise control and eased into the ride.
Groupie Rating 4/5