Henry Wagons’ debut solo offering is a conceptual mini-album filled with intense duets about love, loss and death. Expecting Company? is theatrical and melodramatic, with Wagons’ smooth baritone taking on a sinister air when combined with sweet vocals from his female guest stars who play his foil, his narrator and his object of affection at different points.
‘Unwelcome Company’ is a dark, Nick Cave-inspired murder ballad set in the Wild West. Amid some rumbling and caterwauling from Alison Mosshart (The Kills / Dead Weather) we get a tragic tale about battling demons. This darkness is later reprised in the murky rock guitars of ‘A Hangman’s Work Is Never Done’, featuring Patience from The Grates. Wagons has not turned his back on his alt-country roots as evinced on ‘Give Me a Kiss’, which includes an appearance from Gossling, while a stripped-back acoustic version of ‘Marylou Two’ (originally performed by Wagons’ main band) closes the album.
A solid and energetic collection full of fire, whiskey and menace.
Originally published on 26 November 2012 at the following website: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/34301/Henry-Wagons–Expecting-Company
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