Starting out as his latest and the most interactive fan-funded project, new album The Year Of The Fanclub is the outstanding ‘highlights show’ of another highly successful Ginger Wildheart offering for fans and modern rock ‘n’ roll. Always looking to increase and extend “fan connectivity”, Wildheart created G*A*S*S (Ginger Associated Secret Society) in 2014, a digital subscription based fan club platform that saw a new 3 track single released every month for a year, along with demos and previously unreleased material direct from his personal vaults for members to immerse in. Beyond the music it also gave subscribers full access into the world of Ginger Wildheart through podcasts, Q&A’s, personal diary entries, film reviews and exclusive merchandise options. Now for all, comes the irresistible tempting of The Year Of The Fanclub, a collection of Wildheart’s personally favourite tracks from the 36 song session.
The proudly diverse and rousing treat starts off with Down The Dip, a boisterous maelstrom of energy and varied eagerly entangling flavours. Like The Damned meets The Beatles with understandably The Wildhearts in on the act, the song throws its muscles and hooks around with imaginative zeal and virulence. Body and appetite are an easy submission for the track, a success just as powerfully found by Honour straight after. Featuring Courtney Love, the punk ‘n’ roll stroll instantly carries a defiant swagger whilst sharing a passions enslaving hook to get aggressively greedy over, quickly matching then eclipsing its impressive predecessor.
El Mundo (Slow Fatigue) is a carnival in the ears next, swinging into view with thick resonance and a mischievous character as company to a flowing contagion of sound and resourcefulness. There is also a dark side to its lures, an intimidating smog that erupts as the track’s volatility gets a head of steam on in certain moments before relaxing back into warm revelry.
The country rock spiced The Last Day Of Summer has feet and hips swaying with eagerness straight after, the pop rock catchiness already glimpsed in earlier songs now in full vibrancy with matching melodies and backing vocals before the outstanding Only Henry Rollins Can Save Us Now hits even greater heights. Feverish dirty rock ‘n’ roll to have you grinning whilst punching the air in defiance, the track twists and turns from start to finish. It is a roller coaster of snarling riffs and juicy hooks embracing everything from punk metal to ravenous hard rock through to jazz induced festivity and much more.
The Green Day/Flogging Molly like canter of The Pendine Incident has body and soul bouncing next, its Celtic air aural manna whilst Do You? whips up closely matching reactions with its eighties scented pop rock saunter equipped with engaging melodies and harmonic caresses. Each proposition leaves ears busily keen with the feet and imagination tightly involved, though they soon get overshadowed a touch by the inviting yet melancholic romance of If You Find Yourself In London Town where fizzing keys and vocal prowess respectively surround and fill the embrace of acoustic and electric enterprise as evocative as the words from Wildheart’s lips.
The magnetic saunter of Toxins & Tea is an increasingly galvanic slice of folkish pop rock which perpetually surprises with every passing second and turn. Imagine XTC going heavy rock without losing their melodic beauty and imagination and you have a close idea of one glorious encounter.
That eighties air returns openly again in No One Smiled At Me Today, the song bringing bands like The Cars and The Motors to thoughts before Ostracide uncages its punk fuelled rock ‘n’ roll which ears are destined to devour with relish. Both tracks in their individual ways ensnare body and emotions though each has to pass the limelight over to the irrepressible majesty of closer Don’t Lose Your Tail, Girl. That unpredictability is in full force in a song which fluidly evolves from melodic rock to electro pop mania and on to industrial rabidity, alternative rock with techno infestation, and punk ‘n’ roll confrontation, and that is just the first half of its nine minutes. Like a lifetime of musical styles tenaciously rolled up into one skilfully bedlamic and ingeniously sculpted emprise of sound, the track is a kaleidoscope of flavours which could easily have been the soundtrack to one’s personal musical journey over the past five decades.
As musically enjoyable and impressive as The Year Of The Fanclub is, so lyrically Wildheart delivers a potent and lingering punch to eagerly embrace too. The album is simply a gem and Ginger Wildheart showing why for so many, the man is rock ‘n’ roll.
Year Of The Fanclub is available now through most online stores via Round Records.
The G*A*S*S club is still available to join at http://g-a-s-s.co
Pete RingMaster 17/02/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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