The Wildhearts swaggered back into town hot on the heels of a fresh new album, the first since 2009. How will new material go down live? Let’s find out…
Well, hello. It’s that time again, where I pontificate – good word, huh? – on my favourite records of the year. Hardly anyone reads it, but it makes me feel better. And if one person listens to something and likes it? All good.
I don’t think it’s been a stellar year for music this year, I found myself listening to more and more podcasts and classic, older records than anything else. I wouldn’t say the music scene is stagnant, though. The album does seem to have less importance than it did. Maybe I’m just getting old…
Friends, I’ve listened to many an album during my time on this planet… and this is already up there with my favourites after less than a week of it entering my life.
The Wildhearts – Chutzpah!
Ginger, it has to be said, is one of the coolest men alive. I remember what he did to Kerrang! so I’m just making sure I’m on his good side. Bribery and self preservation aside, that fact is still very much true. Any record Ginger has his fingers in is generally going to be of a high standard.
The Wildhearts are one of “those” bands… you know, the fans rave about them, get obsessed and moan and whine about how it’s a travesty they’re not more succesful. You know someone like that, hell you might even BE someone like that. You know what though? With the Wildhearts, it’s the truth. They should be massive. If you want to know why, then Chutzpah! is just the record for you.
Is this the record that will crack the mainstream for this rag tag band of musical messiahs? In a fair and just world, yes. Definitely. Play this record to anyone and they will find something to latch on to. From the gentle, fragile piano intro of Low Energy Vortex, to the almost-but-not-quite stadium rock “woah-oh” chorus of Mazel Tov Cocktail, this record covers all bases; in the case of the title track, sometimes within the same song. The last 2 minutes of this record are heart wrenchingly beautiful, not a phrase that you would associate usually with this band, but trust me – it’s true.
The Jackson Whites is the best album opener you will hear all year. Fact. Chutzpah! is the finest album closer you will hear this decade. Also fact. In between those incredible bookends is some of the finest music you will ever have the pleasure to enjoy. It’s heavy, yet delicate; it’s epic while being precise and to the point; it’s eclectic without being pretentious.
In short, this record is quite simply, amazing. Don’t take my word for it – this record deserves to be heard. The production is huge, the riffs are massive, the vocals are tight and the choruses are epic. Friends, I’ve listened to many an album during my time on this planet… and this is already up there with my favourites after less than a week of it entering my life.
Songs such as You Took The Sunshine From New York and Low Energy Vortex would be standout tracks for most bands. Not for the Wildhearts. These tracks are great, but you know what? Plastic Jebus is better. The Only One is better still. Chutzpah may just be musical perfection, I’ve not decided yet. But I will. I will grow old with this record, and still discover things on it with every listen.
The Wildhearts used to be the band guaranteed to hit the self destruct button if things got good – PHUQ should have made them the superstars that Earth vs. The Wildhearts hinted they could be – but now? They’ve grown up. They’ve (whisper it) matured. They’re not going away this time, and they want to blow you away. And you know what? They’re gonna do it whether you’re ready or not.
Buy this record. Your life may just depend on it…