Monday, July 29, 2013

Hey! Hello! - Hey! Hello!

Hey! Hello!
Hey! Hello!
Round Records

Hot on the heels of his Mutation project (Which resulted in two albums – ‘The Frankenstein Effect’ and its companion release ‘Error 500’), Ginger Wildheart returns once again with something new for fans in the form of his new project Hey! Hello! Although the project initially played a minor role alongside the daunting Mutation efforts, the small side project has taken on a life of its own, and turned out to be one of the most anticipated efforts to emerge from Ginger since the release of his mammoth ‘555%’ triple album effort from 2012.
And after one listen, it’s really isn’t all that surprising. Unlike Mutation, Hey! Hello! sees Ginger mould his song writing to the more pop/rock side of his creative talents, and I’ll be damned if he hasn’t created one of the most infectious and downright fun album’s I’ve heard in years!
Unlike some of Ginger’s more recent releases, Hey! Hello! is a fairly stripped back affair, with the group comprising solely of Ginger (Who played all the instruments - including the drums - and providing vocals) and Victoria Liedke (The New York based vocalist who has been singing alongside Ginger in his various outfits for the last few years). And while it all sounds too simplistic when you take into account the endless list of names associated with ‘555%’ and Mutation, it has to be said that unlike those releases, Hey! Hello!’s debut self-titled is a cohesive platter of perfect ‘noisy pop’ that only Ginger (And Liedke for that matter) could ever dream of  delivering outside of The Wildhearts.
The opening track ‘Black Valentine’ gives listeners a clear idea of what’s in store for the bulk of the album - and that’s guitar pop/rock that’s infectious, and delivered with perfectly written choruses and beautifully counterbalanced vocals that stay in the mind, well and truly after the song has finished. Ginger has always been known for his lyrical genius, and ‘Black Valentine’ is no exception either, with the song coming across as a couple arguing and trading excuses, all the while maintaining an upbeat vibe and mood on the music front throughout. In short, this song is nothing short of pop genius!
The follow-up track ‘Feral Days’ echoes the uplifting and positive feel and vibe of the former with its anthem like chorus of ‘Hey! It’s okay! Not all days can be beautiful days!’ over its Wildhearts like guitar driven musical backdrop, while ‘Why Can’t I Be Me Without You’ is the perfect example of just how diverse both Ginger and Liedke’s vocals can sound, and still sound perfect together.
‘Swimwear’ has been getting a lot of exposure in recent times as a single, and it’s not hard to figure out why. Originally submitted whilst a member of Michael Monroe’s band, ‘Swimwear’ is one of the album’s catchiest and shortest tracks, and an absolute stroke of song writing genius.
Not to be outdone, Ginger’s own manifesto put to music in ‘Burn The Rule Book (Fuck It)’ and the rocking ‘Lock For Rock (And Other Sporting Clich├ęs)’ are ready built stadium anthems, while the slower paced ‘The Thrill Of It All’ (A song that was originally penned for Courtney Love) takes on a more serious sounding tone, but with a chorus that caters for radio perfectly.
Ginger takes the lead on ‘How I Survived The Punk Wars’, which is one of the two songs on the album that’s a little left of the centre to the rest of the album. Despite being a little more aggressive with punk edge, the song still works perfectly on the album, and Ginger’s masterclass on how to survive in the music business on the lyrical front is hilarious.
‘I’m Gonna Kiss You Like I’m Going Away’ sees a return to the pop style of the bulk of the album with up-tempo choruses and awash with strong melodic harmonies – both of which disguise the serious story of missing family and loved ones while out on tour.
Finishing up the album is ‘We’re Outta Here’, which alongside ‘How I Survived The Punk Wars’, is the other track that stands out as something really quite different from the rest of the album. Although starting out in familiar rock fashion, the song soon takes on a completely different feel with the inclusion of church choirs, horns and an assortment of unusual vocal effects. In a way, the song sounds like a distant cousin to The Wildheart’s epic ‘Sky Babies’ (From 1996’s ‘Fishing For Luckies’), albeit compacted for a short five and a half minutes. But then what do you expect when the song is based around bees abandoning an uninhabitable planet? If you’re familiar with ‘The End' on ‘555%’, you’ll know what to expect.
Ginger has always been prolific, but the last twelve months have been quite possibly his most productive. And while he’s made a few albums in that time, Hey! Hello!’s debut has to be hands down the most fun to listen to. In short - Ginger and Liedke have created the perfect ‘noisy pop’ album.

For more information on Hey! Hello!, check out - http://www.heyhello.net/

© Justin Donnelly