Wagons- Rumble, Shake and Tumble

Features — By on August 12, 2011 10:11 am

Australia is one of the few places in the world that has more actual cowboys than America, and has for a while. Australia is the wild west. This island is still full of cattle herding, hard living on the open land, and the frontier mentality. Wagons fifth album, Shake, Rattle and Rumble embodies this. This is an album that is just begging to be played on a road trip, or in a smokey honky tonk at three o’clock in the afternoon. It is a bunch of ruckus. The songs are familiar, but new. They are personal, but loud. The songs are sensitive, but tough as hell too.Lead man, Henry Wagons lets the world know about his personal influences all over this album. Sometimes this can be an easy way to rip off other artists, but Wagon uses his influences as a guiding light on how to make a really good album.
Wagon’s lyrics are straight forward. They are a good mix of everyone’s favorite American roots music. The songs go from tough and wild, to lovely and sweet. The music is where this album is different. The songs go from pop, to psychedelic, to romantic and lovey dovey. The sound of each new track is surprising and unexpected. On the first listen, it is like a bag of jelly beans. Each song is a totally different color and flavor… and most of them are delicious.
Tom Petty himself could have written the first track on the album “Down Low”. It is almost impossible not to see the pop/rock icon playing this one. It is the perfect lead off track. It pulls you in with a great jingle/jangle  sound and rock solid lyrics. Halfway though the album, the song “Willie Nelson” is a trip.  The title would make you think it was a straight forward country song, but it is actually a cosmic sort of jam reminiscent of another great Texas export the 13th Floor Elevators.  The songs on this album keep you guessing and keep you interested.
The Wagons are not your typical alt-country act. Like most other groups in this genre, they combine country and rock. The thing is, the combine a hell of a lot of different kinds of rock and country. They use 80s pop rock, psychedelic seventies rock, classic driving rock, and everything in between. They combine all of this with solid, smart lyrics, and a classic rock roots sound. This is a little bizarre for an Australian band. They understand something about America, though. They understand the idea of America. Henry Wagon writes as if he has lived the dream. He has seen the open country, and knows how it can effect a man. This is one of the most American/non-American albums I have heard in a long time… and I really like it.


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