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Massy Ferguson Massy Ferguson
Album: Run It Right To The Wall
Label: At The Helm
Tracks: 11

Right from the opening chords of "Gallipoli", you know exactly what you're in for from Seattle's blue collar alt-country boys Massy Ferguson. This is a high octane, pedal-to-the-steel affair that flexes it's musical muscle, reaches right out of the grooves, and smacks you firmly between the eyes!

"Run It Right To The Wall" is the bands 4th album release, and yes it may be rich in typical americana imagery of highways, truck-stop coffee, whisky, weariness and bad motels, but in all honesty these boys do it much better than a lot of bands within the self-same genre, and of course all bands and artists are going to ultimately be judged on their songs - and this is where Massy Ferguson score chunks out of their peers. Here the songs sound BIG, with a colossal rhythm section of thunderous drums and rattling bass underpinning everything, so that the expansive guitar sound and hooky little melodies can do their damage.

I actually think that the term 'alt-country' is a little mis-leading, because what Massy Ferguson do is more true to the spirt of pure garage rock n roll than anything else, where melody and feel are all-important. It's what great British garage band The Barracudas might have sounded like if they were American! But these are 21st Century Boys bringing the sound to life with no room for stereotypical rock posturing, just beautifully written songs that excite and delight in equal measure and will have you reaching for the replay button once they're finished.

The rich, sustained guitar sound is ever-present, and on songs such as "Santa Fe" and "For A While" it twists itself around Ethan Anderson's vocals, releasing twin melodies into the mix. And it's all inspiring stuff - this is rock n roll (maan) and punching the air is obligatory midst "Gallipoli" and "Set The Sun". It's music that will make you feel like you're 20 years old again. It's music that you want to jump around to. It's music that is designed to be played LOUD. When your next door neighbour has a BBQ and puts on some crap commercial dance music, Massy Ferguson is what you need to be played full at full tilt to assuage your offended ears. This album should be available on prescription!

Released on the Brighton-based label, At The Helm Records, which is gaining an enviable reputation as purveyors of top quality Americana, "Run It Right To The Wall" isn't re-inventing any musical wheels or taking you down any dark experimental avenues. It's just an exciting, straight-ahead, American electric rock n roll album that doesn't pull any punches and doesn't outstay it's welcome. It's the sound of a band right at the top of their game and for that we should all be thankful.

Ken Brown