It's always nice to see Razor & Tie take a shot on something that's not metalcore or screamo, their bread and butter. KYNG and THE PRETTY RECKLESS being two excellent outside-the-box bands signed to the label, now comes Detroit rockers WILSON, who follow up their 2013 debut, "Full Blast Fuckery", with their second album, "Right to Rise".
Thank God there's a straight-up hard rock band that plays to conventions without blatantly courting FM radio. "Right to Rise" may not be as full-frontal a title as their freshman outing (albeit "fuckery" may be the band's favorite word in the English language, if you listen carefully within this album), but their sound is plenty full-frontal. Fusing subtle doses of FOO FIGHTERS, MONSTER MAGNET, ALICE IN CHAINS and WHITE ZOMBIE with Eighties grit rock, "Right to Rise" kicks mondo ass most of the time.
The snorting title track opens the album with a fuzzy FOO FIGHTERS kick. While singer Chad Nicefield is hardly Dave Grohl, he mimics the latter just enough to grab Grohl's sway but in his own manner. "Guilty (You're Already Dead)" is the driving follow-up with Matt Puhy pounding the snot out of his kit and guitarists Jason Spencer and Kyle Landry riffing their guts out. Chad Nicefield yelps and woofs through the shout-alongs of "Guilty (You're Already Dead)"'s choruses. Then he tweaks his gravelly octaves with shades of Rob Zombie while the band borrows WHITE ZOMBIE's chuffing chords from "Thunder Kiss '65" on the verses of "Crave". The choruses are agro-melodic in the contemporary sense, but still carrying a mean hook.
Just anyone with a set of car keys and a love of heavy music will be all over "Windows Down!" No further elaboration needed other than this one's made for warm weather rides to anywhere, especially a rock show. "All My Friends" thereafter rides some nasty riff chunks and a pumping beat and this time, Chad Nicefield dabbles in a couple of Layne Staley impersonations while snidely barking about backstabbers and phony friends.
The swinging "Satisfy Me" keeps "Right to Rise" pumping with James Lascu's purring bass while the band shifts to a dirty sex groove on "The Flood", where Chad Nicefield celebrates doinking a minister's daughter, as much to spite the Lord as to bust a nut. The slow-humping groove of "The Flood" is irresistible, as is the spurting guitar solo. With zero amount of irony follows the faster thrust of "Hang With the Devil", an equally sordid post-consummation teeming with guiltless bravado. Chad Nicefield even brags, "the more you give it, the more I take it," just as he boasts as a murdering narrator on "I Am the Fly", chanting without remorse, "now my God is a gun." Debauched as it may ring, the song rips in both fast and slow modes.
Ten tracks in, "Give 'em Hell" does just that, sustaining the energy level of this album with a crashing throb and WILSON keeps flogging away through "Before I Burn", giving very little ground save for a smooth and slower check down along the way. As Chad Nicefield screams "fire" like a mantra to the end, WILSON has torched its audience with a start-to-finish rock bash that feels like it won't end. Lyrically shameless as all-hell, WILSON gets away with it by pushing each song of "Right to Rise" as if hard rock was on the verge of dying tomorrow.