The title Rumble, Shake And Tumble goes a long way in describing Wagons’ rowdy roots-rock style. Their unruly sound draws upon rock ’n’ roll, country, cabaret, psychedelia and soul, held together by Henry Wagons’ entertainingly twisted vision that fuses Leon Russell’s laidback cool with fellow Aussie Nick Cave’s noir hipness.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Wagons includes drummers/bassists Mark Dawson and Si Francis, guitarists Chad Mason and Richard Blaze, and keyboardist Matthew Hassett. Their live shows are dynamic and unpredictable – Henry Wagons’ banter walks the line between taunt and torment while the band swaps instruments and balances just on the edge of total, incredible, majestic chaos.
The album bursts forth with massive open chord riffing in the Tom Petty-ish “Downlow,” to reveal the swampy stomp of “I Blew It.” The dark country epic “Love is Burning” gives way to the cuss-laced-yet-tender “Moon Into Sun” and heartbreaking ballad “My Daydreams,” which finds solid ground somewhere between Neil Young and Roy Orbison. The record holds unexpected twists, turns and moods, punctuated throughout by Henry Wagons’ grunts and snarls. The album is inspired by American icons old and new, and bears Cormac McCarthy’s harrowing Western gothic fingerprint.
In 2010, after triumphant CMW and SXSW appearances, Henry Wagons embarked on a tour across America that opened up the eyes of unsuspecting North American audiences, which lead to American Songwriter’s hypothesization that if “the theoretical love child of the Doors and ZZ Top had inappropriate relations with the theoretical love child of Johnny Cash and The Bad Seeds,” the result would be Henry Wagons.