Ooooo they're gonna stir up a hornets nest with this one. The return (and implosion?) of the Wildhearts, one of er, Britrock's yuck, finest. Armed with damn fine songs and the ability to include pop sensibilities in their songs. And then they put out this, easily their noisiest album. Ooooo people are gonna have fun with this.
So the production has a so called industrial tinge. It's hissy and cranked to the max, but what does that matter. The main thing with the Wildhearts has always been the songs. So how do they fare on this then.
Well, early impressions, cos at this stage that's all they can be, are that it's a mixed bag. Junkenstein and Nurse Maximum are 2 strong songs once you look past the harsh production (if that is, you need to). However Urge isn't (a strong song), but then Pissjoy picks it up again. Soundog Babylon and Now is the Colour are presently doing very little for me. Interesting, cos Soundog ... is one of the quieter moments (at least in places). First single Anthem is ok, but, well, but. The Dog's D'Amour cover, Heroin, I would imagine sounds nothing like the original, (I've never heard the original) but on the album it's one of the better songs. Why do you Lie spits in your face. Pretty venemous and cool. Thunderfuck eases back on the reigns, and is a compartively gentle end to the album, before the explosion.
So, the bands moved on. If you want to compare with their back catalogue, which I would think is a reasonable thing to do, then at the moment it's not their finest moment at all. At least in my opinion. There's a sense of the band fucking with your senses for the sake of it. It will probably grow on me, partly because I will play it enough times for it to do so.
They've also included, for the first time, printed lyrics. Another thing which normally I'd be delighted with. But with this band, part of the fun, and frustration has always been in figuring what was being sung. And I think I recall Ginger saying he liked that. Yet here are the lyrics. Maybe it's to do with the vocals being so distorted in the mix that you need the lyrics to really help figure it all. Who knows.
How will people take to it. I've already read split views. Genius, and bag of shite. And it'll have that effect. People will have to look past the production if that style isn't your normal cup of poison. But that's good. Maybe it'll open them up to either bands which they previously dismissed because of press associated tags, ie industrial, noise etc. After all, this will challenge your prejudices in music.
For me, everything is still overshadowed by the bands continuous will they won't they split saga. The tour's cancelled. They've split, then ginger says maybe not. Maybe they are troubled, but they are taking people for too much of a ride at times. This band means A LOT to many people, me included, but I know find myself being pushed to the point of not caring. I want the band to make a decision one way or another. Losing interest in a band this good is criminal, but that's where it's being pushed towards. But maybe that's good, because no matter how good the Wildhearts are, and they are damn good, there are plenty of other worthy bands around. Maybe it's just a natural progression.
And where ginger tries to encourage people to think and speak their own mind, when it's done against the Wildhearts he seems to get narky and ultra defensive. No band is above reproach. Everyone makes mistakes and decisions which not everyone will agree with. You have to go with that. Even when it's totally fucking annoying. Like people ignoring certain bands because they're associated with a sound which someone dislikes. This album is going to put a number of Wildhearts fans in that position. If they (you) like it and come through that decision with a positive impression and outlook, remember the position you were in with this one when someone mentions a band again that you'd think you dislike.