The Wagon

Match Made in Hell

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Bar bands are seen as a pretty disreputable bunch, sure they sound grand with a couple of brews in you, but who would bother to buy their music? Thus one is loathe to laud the Wagon as the consummate bar band, for that would be damning them with very faint praise indeed. Instead let's talk about the Wagon's amazing ability to roll confidently down rock's long road. From the hardcore "82" to the hard rocking "The Rocker (Everything I Wanted to Say)," across the soft pop, Eagles-sque "Too Long" and into the early Rolling Stones flavored "Waiting," pick your poison, the trio serve it up with style on Match Made in Hell. "Waiting," incidentally, is a clever rewrite of "Twist & Shout," the title track is even smarter, the bastard child of the Ramones and the Stooges, mid-wifed by the Beach Boys. "Jack the Peddler" tips a hat to Simon & Garfunkel as it slides straight into reggae, "Blueberry Sue" winks at the Southern rock scene, "Kolonpin" bows to Oasis, while "Chopped & Screwed" is an homage to the industrial movement. Beyond the band's breathtaking diversity of styles is the trio's awe-inspiring way with a melody, their infectious tunes spilling right across this set. Add their tight playing and excellent arrangements, plus the understated production, and you'll wanna jump on this band's wagon for the ride of your life.

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