After numerous false starts, The Wildhearts début LP is finally here. Basically, it’s a bunch of demos that sounded worse after being tarted up in the studio, so they’ve been released in their original form, thus making Nirvana‘s shandy drinking production on ‘In Utero‘ sound like Andrew Lloyd Webber on big drugs! That means ‘authentic’ mis-haps are all over this record, including such jems as out of tune singing, messy drums and over-powering guitars! But my Lord if it isn’t the most invigorating record I’ve heard all year! ‘What the fuck? It’s my life, I can’t lose!’ barks mad Ginger in the autobiographical ‘Drinking About Life‘. My thoughts exactly chap! Big guitars and shouting aren’t new to rock ‘n’ roll, but when they’re played with such gut-wrenching intensity that you can’t really go wrong.
‘Earth vs The Wildhearts‘ veers from snot-nosed Punk to bar-room Blues, from mate to slobbering piss-head in time to spill your pint, lose a fight and chuck up a dodgy kebab all before the last bus home! Although there’s no let up in monsters like ‘Loveshit‘ and ‘Greetings From Shitsville‘ (certainly has a Barbara Cartland-ish way with words doesn’t he?), most of the real gems are buried so deep in the guitars that they’re only really apparent after repeated listening, but when they do pop up…jeez, it’s like finding the strawberry centre still on the bottom layer of the choc box: gorgeous!
‘Earth…’ is very much Ginger’s record so it’ll stand or fall by whether or not your slant on the big one is anything like his. Not only is this a flawless debut but also the kind of album you’ll still be digging out of the collection in years to come.
Stupid comparisons come to mind. How’s about, ‘The Beach Boys covering Motorhead songs with Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis at the helm’? A non-starter isn’t it? ‘Earth vs The Wildhearts’ is an unashamed clash of styles and eras that manages to avoid a nasty style wreckage (against all the odds, considering the magpie-like audacity of Ginger’s ear for somebody else’s tune!) because every song is just brilliant! The Wildhearts are a band with heart and soul and bloody loud guitars that play sweat drenched rock ‘n’ roll so gritty it gets stuck between your teeth! Music to put your shit-kickers on and GO MAD to!! I’m out of superlatives. Believe the hype.