Great pop inspires, and lifts, and brings light and joy to even the most moribund of souls. Great pop is Carly Rae Jepsens’ “Call Me Maybe”, Hanson’s “Mmmbop” and Stone Roses’ “She Bangs The Drums”. And when great pop is an aural bowl of Frosties with both sweetness and a Les Paul crunch, then pipe it to the frontline forthwith, and chuck in a no mans land football while you’re at it, because there is no feasible possibility of conflict after hearing something so uniting as Ginger Wildheart’s latest of his prolific offerings this year, Hey! Hello!
Hey! Hello! is the 4th of Gingers 6 “Pledge Music” albums this year, coming on the back of his triple package 555% (discussed back in August here on SGSN), and with the two demented noise rock albums Mutation still to come. The direct to fan model of Pledge Music, Kickstarter and their ilk, has liberated independent artists such as Ginger, especially those with loyal fanbases. Find out more about Ginger’s pledge campaign at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/gingerwildheartmutation
Never completely comfortable with his voice throughout his career, Ginger eschews the usual trick of multi-tracking it to give it more presence, instead surrounding himself with voices that he dual harmonises with during his best projects. In The Wildhearts he had the wonderful, and in fact secret weapon, CJ to round out his tones, and here on Hey! Hello! he joins forces with New Yorker, Victoria Liedtke, formerly of Metal Bee Gees tribute act, the quite awesome,Tragedy.
Hey! Hello! as you might have gathered from my wittering is a great pop album, power pop indeed, in the vein of his beloved Cheap Trick. Actually, the album that comes quickest to mind is one of his own, 2000’s Silver Ginger 5; an album full of hooks, choruses, gang vocals, memorable riffs and the start of Ginger’s public displays of affection for the No. 5.
This is not an album for moping around to and appreciating, it’s album of colour, for bouncing around and shaking your fist too, for the background at parties, and the foreground at gigs. “Swimwear” comes on like a hard rock Bucks Fizz all “making your mind up” dance moves and singalong chorus, in my fevered mind anyway. We just need a video of Ginger whipping off Victoria’s skirt to make it complete.
Most preposterous, and therefore the tag as best song on the album goes to “Lock For Rock (and other sporting cliches)” where Ginger rewrites the entirety of Def Leppard’s back catalogue in one song. It’s a song designed, in the very best tradition, to make you raise your fist and yell, as Alice once encouraged us to. It could sit quite comfortably on Pyromania, and I don’t say that lightly, as Pyromania sits very highly in my all time favourite album list.
There are highlights running throughout though, words to live your life by such as “I’m Going To Kiss You Like I’m Going Away” and “Burn The Rule Book (Fuck It), or Ginger’s musical manifesto, the previously released (and reviewed on SGSN) “How I survived The Punk Wars”. I thought I’d already made my mind up about SGSN’s album of the year, but Hey! Hello! has hurtled into contention with an almighty sugar rush.