Melodrama, menace and mirth: the sixth Wagons album, Acid Rain and Sugar Cane, is a vision of 1970s Vegas glam and gloom as seen through a Campari soaked lens. With equal parts lounge and lizard, frontman Henry Wagons leads his band through a multitude of genres, from classic rock to bad boy boogie, gangsta country and prog rock, often in the same song.
Co-produced by Mick Harvey (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey), who also played on every song, Acid Rain and Sugar Cane is filled with drinking songs and driving songs (though never the two shall meet). Acid Rain and Sugar Cane was recorded at the band’s Goldview Studio in Mount Martha, Australia. Henry helped mix the album in LA at the mythic Ocean Way Studios with Matt Linesch (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). In their initial Skype chat, Henry was confronted by a man with wild hair and beard, outrageous jewellery and an unbuttoned shirt: “It was like I was looking in a mirror.”
We last heard from Henry Wagons with his solo release, Expecting Company? Now, the wild-eyed Aussie returns with his longtime bandmates for a louder, grittier collection inspired by the “grand scope of the cinematic, trippy orchestral arrangements from the ’70s,” says Henry. The Wagons band includes the rumbling rhythm section of Mark “Tuckerbag” Dawson and Si the Philanthropist, and guitarists Richard Blaze and Long John Guscott.
Acid Rain and Sugar Cane will be released on Six Shooter Records on June 24, 2014 in advance of Canadian festival performances and club shows.
See a new video for “Why Do You Always Cry?”
MONTREAL, QC: Montreal Jazz Festival, July 5-6
OTTAWA, ON: Ottawa Blues Fest, July 8-9
TORONTO, ON: TBC, July 10
NESS CREEK, SK: Ness Creek Folk Festival, July 17-18
VANCOUVER, BC: Vancouver Folk Festival, July 19-20
CALGARY, AB: The Palomino, July 23
EDMONTON, AB: Interstellar Rodeo, July 25-27