Massive Wagons – Triggered [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Massive Wagons released one of the most unapologetically fun records of the year (sorry Coathanger Abortion). Triggered is the British quintet’s sixth overall and second on Earache Records. In a year packed with countless prog, death and black metal albums, it stands as a fresh and contagious alternative to an otherwise serious and challenging musical landscape. Yes, there are enough fist-pumping arena-sized anthems, big guitar hooks and catchy choruses to make AC/DC envious but Triggered has a lot more going for it. It’s an intelligent bit of pop/punk/hard rock that defies easy categorization. Did you miss this brightly glowing 2022 gem? Swap out your Immolation playlist, steal the keys to your uncle’s Trans-Am for a day and crank this one up!

The first thing you’ll notice about Triggered is how great it sounds. The production, done by the legendary Colin Richardson along with Chris Clancy, has a Mutt Lange-like sparkle to it. This big, crisp, classic rock throwback begs to be played at maximum volume. The production is the perfect vehicle for the massive hooks and soaring melodies that effortlessly flow throughout the album. Opener “Fuck the Haters” begins with big Queen-style drum vibes and quickly blossoms into two and a half minutes of well-crafted ear candy. As with many of the songs on the record, it packs a lot of music into a small package and sets you up for an enjoyable 45 minutes of no-nonsense, metal-infused rock.

Massive Wagons isn’t here to wow you with progressive songwriting or exemplary musicianship. Their skill is in their ability to craft simple, catchy rock tunes that stay with you long after the record is over. There’s a little something for the punks, the rockers, and the metalheads. Songs like “Skateboard” soar from the first note with Blink-182’s pop sensibility and Judas Priest’s classic no-frills pounding rhythm style. But there’s substance behind the message too. Triggered is smart social satire packaged as an arena rock album. Beneath the gloss and riffs lie a treasure trove of witty tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Imagine George Carlin with a flying V and you get the idea. “Generation Prime” (as in Amazon Prime) is a sly take on a My Chemical Romance-style opus while turning the microscope back on the people normally consuming it. “Please Stay Calm” is a sing-along earworm for the active shooter-drill era. The band take an equal-opportunity approach to offending and there’s a little something to make everyone squirm.

In my first year as a proud, sump-loving, happy-go-lucky member of the AMG crew, I was flooded with more music than I knew what to do with. Any given week was filled with new discoveries ranging from jazz-infused prog metal to two-hour-long doom records. There was no way to keep up with the sonic onslaught (or the behind-the-scenes banter). Triggered was the balm my tired ears kept coming back to for refreshment.

Tracks to Check Out: “Skateboard,” “Please Stay Calm,” “Generation Prime,” “Gone Are the Days.”

« »