The Wildhearts
Chutzpah


4.5
superb

Review

by Josh Seventynine USER (3 Reviews)
February 13th, 2010 | 0 replies | 3,302 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Often Fantastic, but more often Out of control Cult favorites rip us a new one with one of their most focused and consistently brilliant Records to Date.

Anyone Familiar with The Wildhearts will know the back story of the bands twenty-one year career already, but for those who don't here is a quick rundown. Lead Singer Ginger formed The Wildhearts in 1989 after being booted out of his previous band The Quireboys and in the following time since, has been the bands only mainstay and primary song writer. Dogged(or spurred on, depending on your view) by Drugs Problems, Record Label disputes and the a fore mentioned lineup changes, The Wildhearts still managed to pump out so of the heavy hitting yet melodic slabs of Hard Rock The U.K. has produced for a long time.

iChutzpah! is album no.9 from the quartet and second with the line up of Ginger,CJ, Scott Sorry(Formerly of American Rockers Amen and Supergroup, Brides of Destruction) and Ritch Battersby. The album expands on the format of heavy melodic rock and dare I suggest perfects what the band has been aiming for.

A key element in creating this sound is a switch in tunings from the more commonly associated Half step dropped tuning present on previous songs such as T.V. Tan and Sick of Drugs, to C Tuning, which features on pretty much every track of this album. The result is a luscious heavy yet melodic guitar tone that allows chutzpah to roar in its heavier moments,(E.G. Tim Smith) yet soar on its more straight forward Pop Rock numbers,(e.g. only one). Saying this however is overlooking one of the greatest features and most appealing qualities of iChutzpah!, however heavy the verse gets, you'll be blindsided out of nowhere with a huge arena sized pop rock chorus that makes this record have appeal to diehard fans and hummable enough that a passing listened will get you hooked. The band also introduces electronics to their sound, the album’s Title and last track features what appears to be either a synth or vocoder. iChutzpah! charts a band at its best perfecting its tried and tested sound with enough experimentation to keep it sounding fresh, yet no so much to alienate its existing fan base. Strains of hair band pomp in its choruses and thrash metal chug on the verses make this record an interesting prospect. It feels very much indebted in its song structure and texture to the music of the 1980’s but apes these bands in such a way that sounds thoroughly modern and nowhere near dated, iChutzpah! wears its influences in such a way that doesn’t promote a feeling of wistful reminiscing rather than a band looting the best bits of their youth for a modern reinvention.

To Coin a much used but never truer phrase, this record is "all killer and no filler", every single song warrants its inclusion in spades, though it is somehow confusing that the anthemic Zeen Requiem has not made the UK edition of this album, though it was available as a free download on the bands website in the not too distant past, if this is still true, It would be thoroughly worth your time to check it out. !Chutzpah! is truly one of the finest British rock records released since the turn of the century and will rank up with the best albums The Wildhearts have ever produced, if not being their slightly odd ball, ‘white-album’esq pinnacle. There is definitely more to come from this band, who seem, after twenty-one years, to be better and more creative than ever.


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