Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Ginger Wildheart (Band) - Albion (Pledge Edition) 2014
Label - Pledge Music
01 - Drive
02 - Cambria
03 - The Road To Apple Cross
04 - The Order Of The Dog
05 - Chill, Motherfucker, Chill
06 - Burn This Town Down
07 - Body Parts
08 - The Beat Goes On
09 - After All You Said About Cowboy's
10 - Grow A Pair
11 - I Need You
12 - Capital Anxiety
13 - Into This
14 - Creepers
15 - Albion
Albion is Ginger Wildhearts latest venture with the fan funded Pledge Music system, building upon the huge success of the 555%, Mutation and Hey! Hello! projects, and what a monster of an album it is. Albion has been recorded primarily by the lineup that Ginger put together for the live shows to support the 555% albums, hence the Ginger Wildheart Band monica and what a line up it is featuring the talents of Ginger Wildheart (The Wildhearts / Mutation / Solo / Hey! Hello! / Michael Monroe Band / Courtney Love Band / SilverGinger5 / Clam Abuse / Supershit666 and more), Chris Catalyst (Eureka Machines / Sisters Of Mercy), Denzel (Ginger Wildheart Band / Barbarossa / Young Legionnaire / Horsefight) , Rich Jones (Ginger Wildheart Band / The Loyalties / Bassknives / Michael Monroe Band), Victoria Liedtke (Ginger Wildheart Band / Hey! Hello!), Random Jon Poole (The Wildhearts / Goddamn Whores / Cardiacs), and Bryan Scary (Evil Arrows) with Kevin Vanbergen handling production duties.
Firstly I have to say that despite its familiarity (hey this is the sixth albums worth of material Ginger has released in less than two years!) Albion is not an instant album, its very much a grower, giving up more and more layers with each listen, and having lived with it since just prior to Christmas here goes for a track by track review.
Drive - a typically schizophrenic power-pop/rock song, that although a great song, takes a spin or two before it really grabs you, but boy when it does its a blinder!
Cambria - a song that comes across as a cross between a Mutation track (it would have fitted easily onto The Frankenstein Effect) and one of The Wildhearts more edgy tracks, say Chutzpah! or an Endless Nameless track with its blast beats and in your face lead vocal, (which are offset at times by Victoria's vocals to amazing effect
The Road To Apple Cross - A belter of a track that seems to blend all of Ginger previously released styles into one song) and could have easily have made it on the Chutzpah! album by The Wildhearts, with Gingers alternating vocal styles and its monster riffs. Truly a great song and one of the albums many highlights.
The Order Of The Dog - begins with a lovely mellow introduction almost fooling you into thinking that this is going to be an instrumental track. Again the song has many twists and turns and takes us, the listener on a great journey. Would have easily fitted onto 555%. A great song and another album highlight.
Chill Motherfucker, Chill - A light and relatively mellow rocker that would not have been out of place on 555%. One of my favourite songs on offer with the great lyric, "Sometimes you are the shit, sometimes you are the pan, this you must understand". Just simply awesome!
Burn This City Down - Co-written with Chris Catalyst, (something that is evident throughout this album is that although its clearly gingers baby, the other band members have been heavily involved at all stages), a great song with a real energetic feel to it. This song really does bode well for any future Ginger / Catalyst collaborations. Definitely an album highlight!
Body Parts - A real up beat pop rocker, and obvious choice for a lead single / promotional track.
The Beat Goes On - A real gem of a track, with a more upbeat version of the feel found on some of Ginger's earlier solo work, say on Valor.... A real good song with a nice commercial feel to it.
After All You Said About Cowboy's - This song was originally recorded as part of the 555% sessions but Ginger wasn't happy with the way it turned out, too far removed from the feel vision of the original demo, so he decided top shelve the song in order to re-record it at a latter date. Nows that date, and the song is beautiful. It really does have a Market Harbour era kind of feel to it, a really great song with some great pop elements. Another album highlight.
Grow A Pair - A fairly uptempo pop / rock n roll track similar in feel to Begin From Within with some great vocal exchanges between Ginger and Victoria. this song could have made a great Hey! Hello! or even Silverginger5 track. Love it!
I Need You - Gingers ode to the fans (I think lol). An uptempo pop / rock track with a great sing along chorus, going to be amazing in a live setting!
Capital Anxiety - Fast aggressive punky track. Could be fun live but feels a little out of place here, and one of the tracks that I imagine will be dropped from the eventual ten track commercial release of the album. (I'll come to that later!)
Into This - A mellow laid back poppy rocker. Another song that wouldn't have been out of place on the 555% triple album, but also one of the weakest tracks on offer here and one I'll probably be skipping a lot in future, that despite having some great lyrics, yet a weak chorus by Gingers standards.
Creepers - An uptempo melodic rocker that goes through many twists and turn (and tempo changes), a fun song. Victoria probably provides her longest lead vocal here, not the albums strongest track, and a little prog rock in places but still a bloody strong song that inbeds itself further into your brain with each and every listen.
Albion - The albums epic title track, what can I say. Ten and half minutes long, with so many twists and turns that it could give the mighty Sky Babies a run for its money. A really nice touch having the Drive riff re-enter things hear during the song as it gives a sense of the album coming full circle. Awesome, simply awesome.
So what can I say? Well Albion is very much a companion album to the 555% triple album set, and I say companion and not successor as the two releases sit so comfortably side by side. This Pledge Edition of the album also contains fifteen songs, something that will change for the commercial release which will only be featuring ten of the fifteen, (and I would hate to be the person charged with choosing which five tracks have to be cut!) Therefore if you want to get a hold of all of the songs here you will need to pledge quickly (the entire album is available for immediate download for just £8).
This album (as with the bulk of Gingers back catalogue) is very, very highly recommended!
Rating - 10/10