Review: Massive – 'Destination Somewhere'

It can’t be easy being an Australian rock ‘n’ roll band, no matter what they sound like they’ll always be mentioned alongside AC/DC, it’s a fact of life. Hailing from the land down under and playing loud, raucous, good time rock ‘n’ roll will always bring the ‘DC comparisons. Airbourne sound like AC/DC, that I get, but to these ears, Massive only share the same continent as Young and Co, that and the same “let’s have some fun” attitude. Musically, I would say that they have more Guns ‘N Roses influences in them than anyone else. The key is that Massive are out for a good time, play some music, have some fun, and meet some new friends along the way. No­ one quite does simple rock ‘n’ roll music like the Aussies. Done wrong, it smacks of clichés, but in the hands of these guys it’s all from the heart, and can’t help but be admired. In comparison to debut album ‘Full Throttle’, the follow up, ‘Destination Somewhere’, is the same… but different. There’s the same high energy and delicious riffing, but some different grooves creep into the overall make up of the album, perhaps as a result of the lengthy spells on the road since breaking out of Oz. ‘One For The Road’ starts things off with a sleazy G’n’R-like intro, where the guitars are pushed right to the front. Vocalist Brad Marr has a distinctive voice that sounds like he just got back from a wild weekend in Melbourne and went straight to the studio. The soloing from lead guitarist Brendan Forward is staggering, and the backbone of Aidan McGarrigle on bass and drummer Jarrod Medwin keep it rattling along at a pulsating speed. ’Blood Money Blues’ is up next, and has a needle crackling on a record for an intro before some mighty cowbell action signals for all hell to break loose when the band come in. Marr spends the early stages singing in an almost spoken word style that combines well with the head bobbing chorus, and thankfully the cowbell is not just for show as it makes several appearances throughout. ‘Sinking Ship’ has a ZZ Top ‘Tush’ swing to it early doors, as Medwin keeps time for the others to flourish. It’s got a great tempo, but the midsection, where McGarrigle unleashes some tasty bass (inspired by Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith perhaps?), is a real highlight. ’Made Of Stone’ is another highlight. With it’s huge radio friendly chorus and a sweet Slash-like solo, it offers a slightly different feel than the other tracks. Put simply, it fucking soars, but as good as it is, it just misses out on standout track on the album. The last two tracks on the album see the band venture off down a different path and come up trumps. ’The Way It’s Always Been’ has a shuffling intro, before the band plug in at the 90 second mark and totally wail. Majestic riffs, complete with some swinging rhythms, give it an interesting vibe that should sound incredible live, however, it’s closing track, ‘Beaten Dog’ is the shining light on the album. A laid back Santana vibe with a softer vocal performance from Marr that excels. A song so laid back that it’s almost horizontal. The guitar solo, mid song, is stunning, and simply oozes smoothness, and although the song gradually increases in tempo, it remains mellow, so much so, that I’m sure I heard the word “toke” mentioned a few times.
‘Destination Somewhere’ is a fine follow up to a cracking debut album that garnered some great praise. Massive are ultimately a live band, but every good live band needs material, and these Aussies have come up with the goods yet again. The album is released April 22nd through Earache Records. For more info on pre­order bundles head over to their website. Review By Dave Stott
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