The band formerly known as Shaggin Wagon has grown up just a bit from its early years, when songs like “F U Pay Me” and “DUI” were punctuated with yelled offensive lyrics. Their label debut finds the San Diego-based trio with a much more reserved and calculating style—think a cross between Slightly Stoopid’s danceable sound and Ween’s keen sense of humor. They seem to have cleansed their musical souls on Match Made in Hell—or at least their overly odious mouths.
The title track whines about the misgivings of falling in love with a married girl. When Sutton Papanikolas sings, “Little did I know that she had a man, ring upon her finger on her bare hand/ Well not a match made in heaven, a match made in hell” not much is left to the imagination. The title and lyrics may be trite, but the song survives on its upbeat and driving rhythm. “Too Long” finds a similarly listenable groove with its mix of surf rock and reggae.
Bottom line: These guys deserve to be seen live. Match Made in Hell shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but rather used as a lighthearted primer for their live show. (Kelsey Bernius)
The Wagon plays the Top Hat Sunday, March 16, at 9 PM. Cover TBA.