Review by Steve Bruty for MPM
Imagine my excitement having been given the opportunity to review the new WILDHEARTS album an album that was going to either follow the successful formula of their previous release,,THE RENAISSANCE MEN or release something totally different, well in typical WILDHEARTS fashion they opted for the latter and released something equalling 95% brutality 5% beauty and 100% compelling.
Anybody trying to review or listen to these 10 songs will not get a proper picture until at least half a dozen plays as it just keeps growing and growing its crammed full of riffs and time changes along with choruses that only Ginger can come up with, how after so many years the man can keep finding these songs defies logic.
The title track opens up the album with a barrage of drums and some ear splitting riffs, with that welcome vocal from Ginger who is straight into a catchy as hell chorus,with time changes a plenty. Talk about a introduction.
REMEMBER THESE DAYS” is a homage to growing up and past memories with meaningful lyrics and a brilliant bass laid down by DANNY this tracks just flows from the off. “SPLITTER” with a slight rock n roll riff and a marvellous tempo with the word SPLITTER being spat out by Ginger from time to time, then just for good measure we get spoilt with some slide guitar a awesome addition the THE WILDHEARTS canon.
Well what can be said about “SLEEPAWAY” not only the most unsettling of videos to ever grace a song but simple one of the best tracks to grace a WILDHEARTS release, don’t be fooled by the subtle simple intro as we soon get the lyrics “Smiling Like A Chainsaw” before a complete breakdown into a 1950,60s rock n roll, doo wop ,foot tapping section then a outro of a “dog looking up at an aeroplane” complete bonkers but superb.
YOU DO YOU” is a simple short sharp catchy number with a great line about the virus and a slice of classic WILDHEARTS single material. “SORT YOUR FUCKING SHIT OUT” with a cracking riff and the best vocal on the album, in particular this has grown into one of my favourites along with “DIRECTIONS” which is again a simple example of what the group do best, they go from complex to simple without missing a beat.
To round things off we get album closer “MY HEAD WANTS ME DEAD” which is complete change of pace with references to mental illness and depression and being a outcast in society, something that affects many people ( including myself ) the song switches from slow to mid tempo which because of the subject matter has to be the highlight of “ 21st CENTURY LOVE SONGS” personally every word on that song gave me something to think about, a brilliant way to end a magical album.
This will without any doubt be considered a WILDHEARTS classic and one which the band should be bloody proud of, listening to it makes me feel proud to be a Wildhearts fan for 30+ years and this is up there with their best effort.
21st Century Love Songs’, out September 3rd 2021 via Graphite Records https://ffm.to/21stcenturylovesongs
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