Run It Right Into the Wall
Artist: Massy Ferguson
Distributed by: Spark & Shine Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In 2006, singer and bassist Ethan Anderson got together with singer and guitarist Adam Monda and began performing as a duo at a farmer's market in Mukilteo, Washington. Adding Tony Mann on keyboards and Dave Goedde on drums, the band known as Massy Ferguson now performs on some of Seattle’s most prominent stages like The Tractor Tavern. They have headlined in Boise, Portland, Spokane, had gigs in Chicago and Minneapolis and have toured internationally. They’ve already recorded a number of albums and their latest Run It Right Into the Wall hit the stores on July 1, 2016.
The sound of Massy Ferguson’s latest album is country meets rock in the style of John Cougar Mellancamp. In making this album, the band sought to reinvent their sound. According to Ethan Anderson, “I think in order to survive we had to take our past formulas and blow them up. We didn't want to rest on our laurels and do another album like past ones.” Though Dave Goedde admits that the songs are still American rock, “We just dialed up the 80s-Midwest-college-rock thing that's always been there.”
Another change-maker for this particular album was the departure of Tony Mann, their keyboard player. Without the keys as the key melodic instrument, the band was forced to fill the space with more guitars and heavier drums. Helping in that factor is the fact that they were all written by guitarist Adam Monda. Some other add-ins included a drum tech to coax the right drum sounds, a chorus effect with the guitars, a glockenspiel and more.
Working for G-POP.net and doing as many music reviews as I do, sometimes certain reviews have to be pushed up in release, others have to wait. I actually listened to Run It Right Into the Wall sometime near its release date. Problem was, some of the other albums I had to listen to and review got pushed to the forefront. Thus, though I enjoyed Run It Right Into the Wall, it somehow got relegated further down in the cue.
When I realized I hadn’t yet written the review, I looked at the screen and drew a blank…then I cued up the music and remembered just how much I enjoyed it in the first place. Listening to the album weeks after the initial listen, I found myself singing along with the band, playing electric guitar and having a whole lot of fun. Though the entire album is enjoyable, I do have my favorites. Making It describes what it’s like to be in a band struggling to reach that dream of success. For A While is about two friends that traveled very different roads, one roaming free and one conforming to what society expected. But when the two get together, with the benefit of hindsight, the singer lets his friend take him to the edge quite happily. Dogbone seems to be a song about life through a dog’s eyes.
Every song has that twangy country rock sound of a roadhouse band, something I enjoyed far more than Massy Ferguson’s previous style – and I enjoyed that a lot. In the end, I’m glad that the band decided to change things up a bit. Not only does it prove their range as performers, it gives fans something new to talk about. I can’t wait to listen to Run It Right Into the Wall again…in fact, I think I’ll do that right now.