North & Left [Release date 17.05.19]
Massy Ferguson plough a fairly industrial, ‘heavy duty’, furrow of country rock. Or as the PR sheet for the Seattle based band’s 5th album aptly describes it, ‘amplified Americana’.
Driven by the song writing partnership of bassist / frontman Than Anderson, and guitarist Adam Monda, they deliver a potent blend of rootsy twang and rock & roll, spinning stories of ‘small town adolescence, big city adulthood, and the long miles of highway that stretch between’.
Combining the country and folk influences of Anderson’s Pacific Northwest Bible Belt up bringing with the hard rock of Seattle, where he eventually relocated, Great Divides offers up vignette tales – delivered Springsteen story telling style – spanning country angsty adolescence, moving to Seattle at 21 and meeting the cocktail waitress who would become his wife, and onwards through to fatherhood.
There’s a loose, intimate edge to much of the set – recorded with Martin Feveyear (Kings of Leon, Brandi Carlisle) – that deliberately captures raw and immediate performances, with bandmates Dave Goedde (drums) and Fred Slater (keys).
Great Divides may not break any land speed records, or reinvent the wheel, but if you’re after some no nonsense roots infused rock, and you’ve blacklisted Ryan Adams, Massy Ferguson could be well worth checking out when they undertake a promotional UK tour, including a number of festival dates, in July. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
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