ALBUM REVIEW: WILSON – TASTY NASTY

Remember the 1990’s? Wilson do. In fact, they love that period of time so much, they molded their new album, Tasty Nasty, around their love of the decade and Hip-Hop. With no worries or inhibitions holding them back, Wilson take you on a trip full of nostalgia and endearing nonsense with eleven new tracks. “We went to find ourselves as humans inside of our music. Our goal was to illustrate that with this album and over the course of 121 days we got it right. That’s Tasty Nasty. We decided on that name due to the perpetual sweet and sour version of the paths that got us to what this record actually is—both lyrically and musically.”

Vocalist Chad Nicefield shared his thoughts on the darkest point in Wilson’s career and the reason for the change in direction from their previous two albums, Full Blast F-ckery (2013) and Right To Rise (2015). “At the time we were writing songs that were dark and heavy. It was never really something that I wanted to do. I felt like I was turning myself into a symbol I didn’t want to be. We had just come out on the other side of one of those industry cliché situations. You know, where the band gets f-cked? We felt hopeless.”

Frustrated with their situation, the band cleaned house and Nicefield took a two-month trip to Asia to clear his head and pursue true happiness. Apparently, happiness IS attainable. He also wanted to find constant stimulation based on things he used to fear; traveling without a GPS, surfing in shark-infested waters and for the first time since high school, experimenting with acid. “While I was over there I wanted to do anything I felt uneasy about—taking life by the balls,” said Nicefield. “So I did acid and I got this perspective that I really never pictured before: ‘Wait a second, I really like being a silly, fun-loving dumbass.’”

Given the extreme right turn Wilson have taken on this new album, I feel it’s important to understand and be aware of the headspace the band was in when they were writing this album. Sometimes, understanding the thought process gives you a different perspective and there is less judgement if you can understand the situation and opportunity that lead to writing and releasing this new album. That being said, if you’re looking for a song to make a bold impact right out of the gate, let’s start with Dumptruck.

This explosive opening track is a kick in the face. Not in a bad way of course. In the way that you go crazy with excitement over something you love. The fast pace keeps pounding the heavy beat into your brain, leaving it stuck in there long after you’re finished listening to the song. Lyrically they give props by mentioning their family, the Masters of Ceremony, the city of Detroit, “the freaks in East Lansing, all the way back before we got fancy,” and, “the real deal f-ckery.” To make it even better, when the song was released as a second single, they followed it up with an amazing video which pays homage to video games of the past.

Conceptualized by vocalist Chad Nicefield and brought to life by Ronny Tibbs and Anthony Maiuri, the video puts the wacky and unadulterated Wilson spin on classic racing games such as Rad Racer, F-Zero and Grand Prix II. Watch the video below as you are taken for a ride in a dump truck while avoiding obstacles like wet t-shirts, packs of lions, swords, beer bottles and wait, is that an eggplant?, before racing to the finish line to be crowned Master Of Ceremony.

 

 

Wrong Side Of History with its crunchy guitars and heavy drum beat heads straight into the song that gave every fan, both old and new, the first taste of what the band had been up to during the past three years. Not only was Like A Baller the first single, the glorious video that accompanied it helped to create an instant buzz across social media and satellite radio. The song starts off with a laid-back, heavy groove that immediately pulls you in. By the time you get around the 2:40 mark, the song punches into gear and takes it to another level. This song just straight up rocks! The lyrics are also a lot of fun and you’ll quickly find yourself singing along with the chorus. Overall, it leaves a very memorable taste in your mouth, ahem, ears. Watch the video below for a number of tributes seen in many videos from the 90s.

 

 

Those who like a funky groove, horns, a ripping guitar solo and a song with a big sound and an overall feel good vibe will appreciate My Hustle. The initial easy-going flow of the music for Summertime Treat (Tasty Nasty) definitely makes it the perfect tune to play with the windows down while driving on a warm weather day. In fact, some of the lyrics will cause you to pause a moment due to the numerous references to other songs and artists.

If you’re an “adult” and someone has told you to “grow up already,” Wilson has the song for you. Act My Age delves into the comments from others on personal actions and lifestyle choices we have all come across at one point or another. The song is an anthem to “do you” and forget what anyone else has to say. Another song with horns, it’s an uplifting, feel-good song with a middle finger to the person trying to tell you how to live.

Want a little Latin flare with your Wilson album? Spanish Coffee is for you. While longtime fans may be a little confused after listening to this song, since it’s so different from anything Wilson has put out before, if you forget it’s on a Wilson album, you might agree, musically it’s a pretty decent track. This song and Money (Money Money Money) stand out the most with the usage of horns. This prominent element, not only in these songs, as horns are scattered throughout the album, really boosts the overall fullness of the album. Plus, they’re just fun to hear.

Have a significant other that is always ruining your high, whether literally or figuratively? F-ck Up My High is your new theme song. Not only is this another lyrical peek into something that has happened in the life of Chad Nicefield, his singing during the chorus is ridiculously good. Listen to audio of the song here.

In my opinion, House Of F-ckery feels like two different songs put together. While I get that the verses are telling a story, the chorus is harder sounding and the two parts feel a little out of sync. But don’t get me wrong, this song has that vibe of the heavier side of Wilson.

Personally, Everyone Gets Around On Me is the least sounding Wilson song on the album. Although, with the release of Tasty Nasty, the new question will be, “What exactly does a Wilson song sound like?” The guys in the band have really redefined that answer with this album and to be honest, this song has so many great elements. There’s the little nuance of hearing what sounds like a needle dropping on vinyl at the start of the song. The flow in general also has a calming effect on the listener which is almost a fake out when you really listen to the lyrics. “Trying to make my life whole, trying to make my boat float but I hit a rock on the bend and I’m sinking again.” or “My head’s on the bar because my heart needs a drink.” But like any good song, the story is there and it keeps the listener engaged.

On his trip overseas, Nicefield discovered something else while under the influence of an “extra extracurricular” substance. “We wanted to create another world for ourselves and our fans. That’s why the acid exists, and not only do I have a personal connection to it all, but it’s to illustrate you’re taking this trip with us. Shut up and smile, dummy. It’s not supposed to be so serious.”

Nicefield’s revelation about his life and his outlook on the band’s music changed everything. “I just kind of realized who we are as people and our DNA was that of a bunch of lovable, silly dudes, that love to make music,” says Nicefield. “That needs to be transparent in our music.”

Will everyone like the new direction? That’s for each person to decide for themselves. As the line in Dumptruck goes, “take the ride, feel the rush, we’re flying high, so come with us, get off the bus, get in the truck.” Do yourself a favor. Stick out your tongue and take the ride with them.

Tasty Nasty will be available August 24. Purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play or pick up one of several Limited Bundles.

 

Local Performance and Signing: If you reside in South Eastern Michigan, Wilson will be performing and signing at FYE, located at 28297 Woodward Avenue, Berkley, MI 48072.

 

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