Album Review: Wilson – Tasty Nasty

Who’s ready for another round of fuckery? That’s right, Wilson are back! 2015’s Right to Rise was unadulterated, unapologetic hard rock which grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and slammed on the accelerator to drag you along for the ride, whether you agreed or not.

In that sense, Wilson haven’t changed. Tasty Nasty is still the in-your-face rock you’d expect from them. Except, now there’s a bunch of hip-hop blended into the straightforward gritty, snarling hard rock beast. Now, had Wilson went into the studio and recorded Right to Rise II, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid, in fact, I’d have welcomed it with open arms. They were never trying to make serious, intelligent music to encourage the chin-strokers – they wanted to make an album people could enjoy.

And that’s what makes Tasty Nasty a great album. Such a drastic departure shouldn’t work. But it does. If the predecessor was the album for everyone else to enjoy, this one is for the band to enjoy. Conveniently, it’s a great listen. This is rock you can just flat-out dance to. It’s party rock in the truest sense of the term.

Of course, whilst Wilson are making the music they love, they do it with a sense of humour with songs such as “Fuck Up My High”, “Act My Age” and “Like a Baller”. The latter has vocalist Chad Nicefield tell the age-old rags-to-riches story and how the protagonist is going to live an extravagant lifestyle but at the same time, it’s a loving swipe to celebrity obsession and how many in that position got there with a lack of talent or skill (or even worse, sold their soul to get to the top).

Meanwhile, “My Hustle” and “Money (Money Money Money)” – don’t worry, it’s not an Abba cover – are two of the songs most heavy on the hip-hop side of things and are two of the catchiest songs on the album. However, there is the opposite side to that as well – there are some flat-out rockers with a tiny sprinkling of hip-hop such as the gargantuan opener “Dump Truck”. While there’s no songs free of hip-hop elements, you never find yourself wanting it. Frankly, it’d be out of place on an album like this.

By making a record like this, it mainly shows what a vocal range Nicefield is capable of between the screams and growls of “Wrong Side of History” and the melodic elements and vocal runs he pulls off in “Everyone Gets a Round on Me”. On the music side of things, guitarists Jason Spencer and Kyle Landry are intent to still bring the riffs in a big way with their crunching fretwork and Matt Puhy’s drums will ensure you’ve got a bangover. James Lascu’s bass is muscular, slotting in well with the hip-hop sounds, each bolstering the other rather than burying it.

Tasty Nasty is one of the most fun albums I’ve heard in years. On paper, it shouldn’t work but it’s nothing short of brilliance. Nothing’s been taken out of their aggressive hard rock sound. Instead, they’ve just added more fuckery to go full Wilson.

Tasty Nasty is released on 24th August

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