Australian country music has never looked in better hands than with Wagons and their latest album, Acid Rain and Sugar Cane. Gritty electric guitar and horn arrangements ring out as Henry Wagons channels Nick Cave in ‘Hold On Caroline’, the most impressive opener to one of their albums yet. Co-produced by Mick Harvey of the Bad Seeds fame, this album in parts is a lot darker than previous releases, but I think that is one of the main positives behind it. It’s a little bit psychedelic in parts, but definitely a masterpiece filled with drinking songs as well as some for your road trip.
Influenced by classic albums by The Band and Bob Dylan, it seems that Wagons has finally hit the mark with both his arrangement of songs and the players he has got along for the ride. With the Saskwatch horn section, City and Colour’s Matt Kelly on pedal steel and Steve Hesketh from the Drones on honkytonk piano, this album is incredibly impressive right from the beginning. ‘Chase the Eclipse’ opens with the growl of guitar and sounds like it has just been pulled from a Steve McQueen car chase film.
If you haven’t heard of Wagons, get down to the Barwon Club and experience this cracker album for yourself. Within one single listen, this release has made my Australian album of the year list – and I don’t see it getting knocked off the top perch anytime soon.
Release: out now via independent release
Written by Tex Miller