Its fair to say that despite the success of Ginger Wildheart’s previous fan-funded project ‘555%’, boosted by the backing of a loyal and long accumulated fanbase, his new venture Hey! Hello! was perhaps not quite drawing as much attention as his original PledgeMusic project had earned, although that was no reason, as Ginger recently put it on Twitter, for a certain rock weekly to allegedly not run a feature of any sort on the band or the album for not being ‘buzzy enough’. Cue a torrent of bellicose tweets from Ginger and a wave of publicity following its ‘surprise’ foray into the top 15 of the midweek UK album chart, and Hey! Hello!’s name was being shouted everywhere (well, almost).
Buzz or no buzz, Hey! Hello!’s debut album sees Ginger and New York rock chanteuse Victoria Liedtke team up for 10 tracks of sunshine-soaked pop-rock that shows the rock veteran’s knack for writing stunning choruses as he and Liedtke trade off, beginning with the single ‘Black Valentine’. From there the future classics keep coming; ‘Feral Days’ is awesome from start to finish, ‘Swimwear’ will have you there like swimwear, as the chorus goes, and then there ‘I’m Going to Kiss You Like I’m Going Away’, which sounds like one of the best songs Ginger never wrote for the Wildhearts. And let’s not forget ‘How I Survived the Punk Wars’, which feels like it came out an age ago now, but still remains brutally relevant to today’s decaying rock music scene, as Ginger and Liedtke warn up and comers ‘don’t eat the bullshit‘
Ginger himself proves adept at playing all the core instruments here, indeed for the first time as a drummer, and when you’re as in control as someone like Ginger is, the results can only look upwards. Industry ‘experts’ might well continue to be surprised, but why should we who are really in the know? You can always trust in Ginger to write a catchy chorus, to identify the personnel through whom he can really click – and he found a pearl in Liedtke, who exudes pure energy and positivity to her approach as a singer. It makes for absolutely essential listening, and it will live on long beyond this summer and next, through heatwave or thunderstorm.
Buy/download ‘Hey! Hello!’ here
Stream it below: