Wrong Side Of Vegas

The Mothmakings Sessions EP

Written by: PP on 31/07/2009 06:46:54

I have to admit, I was prepared for the worst after Odense, Denmark based Wrong Side Of Vegas told me that they recorded their new EP in just a couple of hours and that it was their best material yet, both in the same sentence. On a six track EP that means less than 30 minutes per song, leaving four, maybe five attempts at each song if you're lucky, and fewer if things go wrong, and Murhpy's Law says they will. So lets just say I had a certain amount of prejudice before listening to "The Mothmakings Sessions" EP for the first time. But they weren't kidding. Imagine my surprise when nearly every song on the record really is better than anything the band has written in the past, and not only that, but also among the best rock songs I've heard from a Danish band in several years, if not longer. Overwhelmingly invigorating to hear how a band you've been following for a few years has so clearly found their own identity and sound, like all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fit together to form a grand image.

You can tell it already from the opening groove of "Heart Like A Stone" that something has clicked between the band members when writing these songs. The tracks simply have the energy of a band who knows (instead of thinks like is often the case) they've written a bunch of awesome songs and are therefore extremely confident about them. Such overpowering confidence leads into urgency and immediacy, which in turn leads into a very convincing sound.

If the band could've been accused of following the footsteps of The Hives on their first two EPs, they've now swinging much more towards a purely garage rock / rock 'n' roll sound where the punk influence has been dropped almost entirely, and for once, the slowing down of the songs is not to the detriment of the overall sound. References can now easily be made to The Parlor Mob and Wolfmother, but neither are close enough to warrant stating that Wrong Side Of Vegas sounds precisely like them. There's the odd groovy riff from Wolfmother, or the awesome rock'n'roll atmosphere from The Parlor Mob, and several nods towards old school classic rock artists (think Skynyrd, Zeppelin etc) in the form of awesome soloing scattered in unexpected places in all songs, but as a whole these songs sound like Wrong Side Of Vegas songs. Much of this is owed to vocalist Morten Christensen's exceptional vocal performance that has improved leaps and bounds from the past. If he sounded somewhat weak and shy previously, his rowdy cry is now super convincing and the absolute highlight of the record. The amount of emotion in his voice is often what makes a difference between a good and a great song; for example the way he wails "The words are all over the town, yeah, that you've been messing around, this is the dirty bitch blues, YEAH!" on "Dirty Bitch Blues" works brilliantly because it's possible to hear that the lyrics are coming unfiltered from his heart based on the slight tone shifts in his voice.

But lets not give all credit to Christensen though, considering how original and rowdy the instrumentals are in the mix. There's just the right amount of percussion to support the awesome wailing and whizzing guitars, and the garage-like production leaves the riffs buzzing and making an effect long after they're gone. On top of the garage / rock'n'roll feel, there are also some wild west vibes on a couple of tracks like the uber groovy "She's So Cold". Something about those guitars just makes me think of saloon doors being slammed open by a bad ass cowboy looking for a fight. Mood-setting is a light description for the song.

Now there's no point in me dissecting more songs in the review because it'll simply become too long to read, if it isn't that already. All you really need to know that nearly every song on the record is great, with the exception of "Burning A Hole" that didn't really say much to me. This may just be the record that gets Wrong Side Of Vegas signed if it lands in the hands of right people. To think that these guys weren't even nominated in the final 5 of Underground Music Awards for the rock category is beyond me considering the songs on this EP, because honestly, winners Highway Child have nothing on these guys based on this EP. Now all there's left to see is whether these new tracks will work live as well as they do on record, but considering how they were recorded in one, technically live session, I'm not worried.


Download: Dirty Bitch Blues, Heart Like A Stone, Lose Control
For the fans of: The Parlor Mob, Wolfmother, classic rock n roll
Listen: Myspace

Release date June 2009

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