“Take the ride/feel the rush/we’re flying high/so come with us”
Being in your mid-30s in 2018 is kinda weird. We long for the days when you’d come home from school, crack open a Sunny D, and watch TRL. (Did you know that shit was rigged? Damn.) Songs with R&B flavor, skyscraper choruses, and a bit of that Nu Metal attitude brought us together. Those catchy tunes provided the soundtrack to the last time many of us would feel truly hopeful about the future.
This is a music review, I promise.
The guys in Wilson have given us senior millennials the gift of Tasty Nasty. I’m not sure anyone asked for it, but it might be just what we needed to get through the rest of this decade.
From the would- be 2001 favorite “Summertime Treat (Tasty Nasty)” to the straight-up funk of “Money Money Money Money,” to the hints of old Wilson in “Dumptruck” and “House of Fuckery,” this album takes you on a crazy ride full of pop culture throwbacks, unexpected samples, and super funky R&B.
You should probably forget everything you know about Wilson, and listen to Tasty Nasty with fresh ears…maybe through walkman headphones, while wearing your JNCOs and sipping on cheap ass grocery store vodka and Yoohoo.
The first avenue this debauchery-filled journey takes us on is nu-metal. Songs like “Dumptruck,” “Wrong Side of History,” and “Like a Baller” still have the so-good-they-hurt riffs and rock/metal vibe you’ve come to expect from the Detroit rockers…but with a bit more rap, as vocalist Chad Nicefield shifts between his gravelly rock voice and spitting rhythmic verses.
So you might be thinking you’ve got your head wrapped around this thing. Then. It. Gets. Weird. “My Hustle” is just full-on hip hop. It’s a fun jam, with a ton of funk, and a horn section. Tasty Nasty alternates between this kind of smooth groove, and turn of the century rock, bringing to mind Crazytown, Sugar Ray, or Smashmouth.
The latter works incredibly well on the ultra-nostalgic “Act My Age.” If you can’t relate to “I’d rather be playing air guitar than get a job I hate/I’d rather be making sweet love than working my life away/Never gonna grow up/shut up/don’t tell me to act my age,” then we can’t be friends. Those nuggets of lyrical truth are wrapped around a chorus that will never leave your brain, making this one of my favorites on Tasty Nasty.
“Fuck Up My High” is an eclectic, angry-as-hell rap/rock anthem. While “House of Fuckery” brings back some metal flavor in the chorus. This ode to outcasts is sure to be a hit live.
That venture back to rock territory ends quickly. As for the album closer, “Everyone Gets A Round:” remember those teen comedies that were so popular in the late 90’s/early 00’s? Remember the song they would play when the two main characters would realize they were meant to be together and one needed to forgive the other for some ridiculous misunderstanding? This is that song.
Full disclosure: I’m a HUGE fan of Wilson’s previous releases. I rock out with my windows down to Right to Rise and Full Blast Fuckery on the regular. I live for those tunes bursting with badass riffs. I like it when Chad yells at me through a big, bushy beard.
But this is the album Wilson wanted to make. They wanted to be their true, silly selves (anyone who has seen them live knows this side of the band) and Tasty Nasty does show a ton of versatility vocally and musically.
This album is more fun than should be allowed, and, for me, it reminded me of a time I didn’t realize I missed so much. It even made me kind of emotional at times, like, yeah, someone gets it. So, thanks, Wilson. I needed some Tasty Nasty in my life.