Wilson: Right To Rise

Detroit dumbasses grow up and chronicle the Motor City’s rebirth.

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Modern metal sometimes seems less like a music scene and more like a staged cage fight where failed wrestlers, pantomime dames and Snow Queens camp it up, and success depends on how scary your new masks are.

Given that the biggest thing in the world of Heavy right now is Babymetal – three pre-teen Japanese girls singing sugary jingles over polystyrene riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place soundtracking Mario Kart – Detroit five-piece Wilson might have chosen the wrong time to ditch their schtick./o:p

Wilson’s debut album, you see, was called Full Blast Fuckery and featured sensitive ditties like I Can Beat Your Dad, Viking Pussies Fuck Off and College Gangbang. It wasn’t exactly ‘Thinking Man’s Metal’ – unless that man was thinking about Jägerbombs and tit-jobs.

Not that we’re entirely above all that ourselves. No matter what your age, it was hard not to throw horns (and beer) in the air and rejoice at these jackasses and their frat-metal. Here was metal without pretension. It wasn’t wrapped in a cloak, wearing a mask or invoking the devil – it just wanted to get laid and post some stupid pictures on Instagram.

But everyone’s got to grow up sometime. If Full Blast Fuckery was their end-of-term coursework, Right To Rise is the sound of a band hitting the big bad world, cleaning their act up and applying for their dream job. And in Wilson’s case, that’s to be serious players. They could do it too. Right To Rise is where Rage Against The Machine meet Airbourne: party-starting music with serious heft.

The puerility has gone but not the ferocity. At just 42 minutes long, Right To Rise is lean and perfectly pitched. Inspired by the decline of Detroit, the title track salutes the city’s defiant spirit (‘We got the right to rise/From ashes we survive’), with riffs that rev like one of the cars the city was famous for.

Meanwhile, the rest of the album spits out tales of bad men doing bad things: ‘Say it! You know what you did/You know you’re guilty,’ screams Chad Nicefield, his vocal never straying into post-hardcore screeching. ‘I think I just killed a man/Now I got my eyes on you.

No more fuckery: Wilson are fast and furious. Maybe there’s hope for metal yet./o:p


Scott Rowley
Content Director, Music

Scott is the Content Director of Music at Future plc, responsible for the editorial strategy of online and print brands like Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, Guitarist, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Total Guitar etc. He was Editor in Chief of Classic Rock magazine for 10 years and Editor of Total Guitar for 4 years and has contributed to The Big Issue, Esquire and more. Scott wrote chapters for two of legendary sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson's books (For The Love Of Vinyl, 2009, and Gathering Storm, 2015). He regularly appears on Classic Rock’s podcast, The 20 Million Club, and was the writer/researcher on 2017’s Mick Ronson documentary Beside Bowie