Wilson 'Right to Rise' Album Review
Wilson 'Right to Rise' Album Review by Maggie Wright
Put your mouth guard in and adjust that groin protector! Wilson are back for round two, with their knock-out album "Right to Rise"; and you had better get the ice bath ready 'cause they are pulling no punches! After their debut album, "Full Blast Fuckery", and its worldwide acclaim, critics may have wondered, "how do you follow that?" (I'm sure that many bands that have had Wilson open for them have thought that very question!) Wilson have answered with a body of work that stays true to themselves while ramping it up several notches.
The change in the writing process to include all five band members has not only shown a maturity on their part, it has rocketed the band from middleweight to heavyweight overnight. The nuances of influences coming from the bands that inspired them in their youth is evident in parts throughout the album, resulting in a complimentary sound that doesn't detract from their own metal sound. A hint of Alice in Chains, a whiff of Black Sabbath; enough to pay homage but never too much to cause overshadowing. For all the focus on the Fuckery, it should not diminish the talent these guys possess.
The album opens with the title track; an anthemic, no holds barred song meant to inspire and get you perspiring. I don't know if the band realized when they wrote it that it was a self fulfilling prophecy on their own part. A type of raucous premonition of what was coming. As I told Jason Spencer in our interview, my first thoughts when I heard this song involved picturing myself driving in my car with the windows down and the music cranked up, and I hadn't even looked at the names of the following tracks! So when Windows Down! started playing, I literally shouted "Yes!". The DJ from "WLSN" was a perfect introduction. Whether the song was written with that idea in mind, or if I t was added after it was written, it was genius. It totally completed the imagery.
There is an underlying theme to these songs, although it would not be accurate to call it a concept album. In Satisfy Me, there is a line "seven deadlies comin' after me" yet none of their work is a reflection of spirituality, or even religion; rather an outlook on life of living to the fullest, without letting anything or anyone hold you back. There is a deep-seated reaction with each song that makes you feel like you can sing it, holding your middle finger up to whoever or whatever is holding you down. If you feel vengeful towards someone, Guilty fits the bill. Feeling a but lustful and obsessive? Try Crave. The only sin not covered is sloth, and that is something that is definitely not attributable to these guys!
The album flows well from song to song and can be listened to easily on a drive to work. At 41 minutes and 15 seconds long, it is almost too short for me. Having listened to it numerous times now, I guess that Wilson needs us to build up our stamina before they hit us with anything longer than that! There are some moments of respite, placed strategically to allow us to catch our breath. The first occurs at track 7, The Flood, a slower track but by no means a slow song. That won't be found here. Wilson are proving to have a mastery of the contagious chorus and this is one I can already hear bellowing through venues across the world. The next is at track 9, I Am The Fly, a song that intrigued my from the title, and continues to intrigue me with each listen. The last respite appears to come from the final track, Before I Burn, for the first forty seconds or so. But pull up your shorts and put your guard up because here is where Wilson deliver their knock out punch. A complex song with rhythm changes, syncopation, haunting guitars, death metal shouts of "Fire" mixed in with sweet melodic reassurances of "don't worry for me momma". And we are out for the count.
Chad Nicefield's voice has obviously benefited from all the debauchery. Whether it's his guttural growl in Hang With the Devil, the sexy yet eerie tone in Crave, or the bluesy intro to Before I Burn, he has the ability and range to go from silky smooth to rip your throat out screams and make it look effortless. The guitar solos by Jason Spencer and Kyle Landry, especially in Give 'Em Hell, and the strength of the rhythm section between Matt Puhy and James Lascu, are worthy of making the world sit up and take notice. The guys don't play at Fuckery, they define it. From the point of their inspiration, to composing and performing, Wilson is a band, not only to be taken seriously, but to be reckoned with!
"Let 'em deny that we exist, come on and raise your fist!" is one of the defiant lines on "Right to Rise".Guys, I don't think there is anyone who will deny your existence after this!
Jason Spencer - guitar
Chad Nicefield -vocals
Kyle Landry - guitar
Matt Puhy - drums
James Lascu - bass
"Right to Rise" is out now via Razor and Tie records
Checkout Our Interview With Wilson Guitarist Jason Spencer Here
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