Henry Wagons After What I Did Last Night
Published Feb 10, 2016Australian roots-rock troubadour Henry Wagons made a mark as leader of the band Wagons (they put out five albums), but has decided now to venture out under his own name. That doesn't signal any major shift in his sound on this, his solo full-length debut, and fans of that band will find plenty to enjoy here.
The most obvious reference point is compatriot Nick Cave, given Wagons' sometimes sinister baritone and oft-twisted narratives. Still, Cave would never write on a subject as prosaic as "Cold Burger And Cold Fries," as Wagons does effectively here. The Cave comparison was solidified by the band's under-valued 2014 album Acid Rain and Sugar Cane, which was produced by Mick Harvey of the Bad Seeds. At the console this time is noted New Nashville producer Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose), and he does admirable work, along with some of Music City's best Americana players. Wagons throws in enough stylistic curveballs here to keep things interesting, as on the pulsing "Santa Fe," the vodka-fuelled revelry of "Cowboy In Krakow" and the surprisingly tender ballad "As Long As I Breathe." The exuberance and charm of Henry Wagons the performer is hard to capture on disc, but After What I Did Last Night is an enjoyable outing nonetheless. (Independent)