Friday, 16 September 2016

Hey! Hello! - Too! (2016)

Genre - Hard Rock / Pop / Punk
Label -  Round Records / Pledge Music

Track listing:
01 - All Around The World
02 - This Ain't Love
03 - Glass Of champagne
04 - Kids
05 - Forever Young
06 - Loud And Fucking Clear
07 - Can't Stand You (Hurting Me)
08 - Lets Get Emotional
09 - A History Of Lovers
10 - Body Parts
11 - Perfect

Its been a rough ride for Ginger Wildheart's Hey! Hello! project. Originally conceived around the time that he was working on the Mutation projects as a noisy pop project that was to release a couple of  pledge exclusive singles. recorded with Victoria Liedtke on co-vocals and Ginger pretty much handling everything else, the project ballooned up into a full album that Ginger eventually released commercially in 2013 to great critical and fan acclaim and a few selected live dates including a trip to Japan. Just when things were looking like they were really going to take off there was a falling out between Ginger and his then manager and boyfriend of Victoria and for all intents and purposes it looked as the though Hey! Hello! were dead in the water. Then all of a sudden Ginger enlists the services of Love Zombies vocalist Hollis Mahady for some live dates and then the next thing you know there is a tour book for late 2015 and an album in the bag. Unfortunately disaster would once again strike and the album and tour had to be postponed as Ginger was hospitalised with depression. Then just as the band are set to release the album and embark on some rescheduled UK live dates, Hollis decides that shew no longer wants to be apart of the band and relocates to LA! The album is immediately pulled (but not before it had released it to some lucky pledgers) and once again things begin to look dark for Hey! Hello!. The band decide to hold some auditions to find a new female vocalist but when the online fan community voice some rather cruel and negative opinions Ginger announces that he will re-record the album with him singing all the parts. Then the wait begins!
Now the wait is over, the album is here and Ginger and the band have pulled a fast one, or several to be honest!
Firstly the track listing has been rejigged, Three tracks have been outed Automatic Love, Don't Stop Loving The Music and Little Piggy are gone and replaced by All Around The World, A History Of Lovers and Perfect, but wait that's not all. The guys have also enlisted the help of various guest vocalists! The sly buggers them!
The album opens with the blistering melodic pop rocker, All Around The World featuring Vicky Jackson on lead vocals. Things are off the a great start! Next up we have the re-worked version of This Ain't Love, featuring Emily Lee on lead vocals. The arrangements been tinkered with when compared to the initially released version, but only serves to highlight Emily's powerful lead vocal. Great song!
The cover of Sailor 1976's Glass of Champagne follows, this time with drummer Ai and Laila K singing in harmony. I have to say that I think that I prefer the original Hey! Hello! cover of this with Ginger and Hollis vocally sparing through the verses. Still a good solid track. Next we have another of the re-worked tracks in the form of Kids. Now Kids is still one of the best songs on the album all the stronger for the stunning vocal delivery of Cat Southall!
Christina Maynard tackles the emotional vocal for Forever Young and does a sterling job of it to!
Long time co-conspirator Givvi Flynn provides the snarling duelling lead vocal with Ginger for the awesome Loud And Fucking Clear, that is after Ginger provides an verbal update on what's been going on....The songs lyrics have been completely re-worked and they pull no punches trust me!
Can't Stand You (Hurting Me) sees Cat Southall taking the lead vocal again on this fantastic melodic song. Next we have another of the albums highlights in Lets Get Emotional. The Rev and Ginger provide some blistering guitar work whilst Eloise Kerry provides a sneering angst filled vocal. Next we have the second of the new songs, A History Of Lovers, which sees Ginger handling the lead vocals. Another slab of Gingers melodic genius! We then have the albums quirkiest track. This time its the re-working of the Albion track, Body Parts. Here we have Ai and bassist Toshi singing the verses in Japanese whilst the chorus stays in English. Somehow this feels a little out of place and breaks the albums momentum. Closing out the album is the last of the new tracks, Perfect. This is a blistering song with The Rev delivering a great lead vocal!

So despite a little stumble towards the end, Too! is a fantastic album and proof positive that there is something truly magical about Hey! Hello!

Rating: 10/10

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