Tuesday, 1 September 2009
The Wildhearts - Chutzpah! Review
Its no secret to anyone whom has ever met that I am a huge Wildhearts fan! I have been ever since 'Don't Be Happy....Just Worry' all the way through the various splits and reunions right up til today, and I always will be!
I along with many other Wildhearts fans eagerly read the studio update blogs which the band posted whilst they were recording this album and felt the excitement grow like never before. Although when I read that they were down tuning the guitars I did start to feel a little anxious, but then again this band have never really conformed to any particular rules, and they can rightfully claim that no two albums really sound the same. (unlike a million other bands out there!)
So at one minute past midnight on Monday morning I was there at amazon (among others after having a few problems!) impatiently downloading my purchase of Chutzpah!, the latest instalment of Wildheart history.
Now first of all, the present line up of Ginger, CJ, Scott Sorry and Rich, seems to be the most stable line up the band has had in years. Chutzpah! is this line ups third studio release, the others being 2007 rifftastic 'The Wildhearts' and last years awesome covers album, 'Stop Is If You've Heard This Before vol 1'.
So how does Chutzpah compare?
Well let me just say, the boys are on form!
Yes they've tuned down the guitars, but to quote Ginger, "finally the guitars are in tune with the bass", and the songs still maintain that classic Wildhearts feel.
Album opener, 'The Jackson Whites' is a real; tour d' force, pounding along with a great riff, then mellowing for the verse, then a typical Ginger big chorus, and boy can Ginger write those!
Next up is 'Platstic Jebus', which has a deceitful opening, and slows the pace a little, but is still one hell of a track.
Following that is albums lead single, the Scott penned 'The Only One', which is a great modern day rock ballad I guess, with Scott turning in a great lead vocal performance.
Next up is 'John of Violence', which is a typical Ginger/Wildhearts melodic rocker. To be honest this track could easily have been on Wildhearts album, or even any of Ginger's solo albums.
The we get 'You Are Proof That Not All Women Are Not Insane', which is another stroke of Ginger genius.
Next up we have the mighty 'Tim Smith', which has a riff that wouldnt be out of place on any of Metalica's better releases. This track would have fitted really well on 2007's The Wildhearts album, and I have to say its bloody Great!
The we get 'Low Energy Vortex', with its gentle pianno opening. This is a really great song, some nice riffs and an amazing Slash esque solo.
The track with the hard task of following that is ' You Took The Sunshine From New York', which is a beutifuly personal Ginger track that would have fitted onto any of Gingers solo albums. It breaks the pace alittle, giving you the chance to catch your breath, plus its pretty commercial and could possibly make a good single.
Next up we have another melodic rocker (wildhearts style) in 'Mazel Tov Cocktail'. Another great track.
And then finally we have the albums closing and title track, 'Chutzpah!', which is great blast of pure Wildhearts energy. A great track
Chutzpah is a really good album and deserves to bring the band (and Ginger in particular) the commercial success that they really deserve, lets face it, love or hate him, Ginger has probably the best and most prolific song writer in rock for the last 20 years or so!
One strange thing about Chutzpah is that although its the most collaborative Wildhearts album to date, its the one with the closest feel to a Ginger solo album!
The problem you get with The Wildhearts is that they are so volatile and could implode (as they have done so many times before!) at any time, but if god forbid that should happen, then they have given us probably their strongest album to date, and what an epitataph it would be!