In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “The Nashville setting of recording After What I Did Last Night… comes thick and corn fed.”
A bloke from Melbourne’s inner north who wears citche vintage clothes and has oh so manicured facial hair. Also, he appropriates a kind of music that is the very specific sound of somewhere he is very specifically not from. Everything about Henry Wagons should make me hate him in all of his hipster glory. But I’ll be buggered if I don’t find him immensely entertaining whenever I come across his work. Which is why I was pumped to hear that he had released a new solo album, After What I Did Last Night…
His Jonny Cash-like baritone is put to perfect remorseful use on Cold Burger, Cold Fries as he croons his desire to make up for some prior transgression over an appropriate Nashville sound of regret and apology, with a hint of optimism as he swears to do better this time around.
The instruments might be acoustic and countrified with a little twang in the air, but Weak Link is a part vintage soul, part 80s power ballad. Before things get down and dirty with King Hit sounding like it came straight from a chain gang. Or more specifically, it sounds like it’s coming from beyond the grave, from someone who never made it off that chain gang.
The Nashville setting of recording After What I Did Last Night… comes thick and corn fed on Head or Heart. As an Aussie, Wagons shouldn’t be able to deliver this kind of traditional country vocal, but he makes it work. If you didn’t know he was Australian, you’d assume he was born and bred south of the Mason Dixon Line.
The southern influence only grows on the honky tonk piano fuelled Anything You Want, the harmonica lead road house rock of Tomboy, and the pedal steel heavy heartbreak of As Long as I Breathe. That southern fried coating only gets thicker with Wagons’ love song to his hometown Melbourne, finishing After What I Did Last Night… on a wistful, smile inducing high. Telling the story from someone in the middle of a long haul flight, it’s a great melding of Henry Wagons’ country of residence with that of his country of musical influence. Which also makes it the perfect capper and summary of this entire record.