Review Summary: Fun, catchy, and occasionally heavy power-pop, but not much more.
The Wildhearts are a bit of an interesting band. Being a 90s band, there seems to be a certain charm to them that you would expect from the grunge era, and they certainly possess this feeling. People consider them to be a mix of Cheap Trick’s power pop, and Metallica’s heaviness, which is something one could expect from a 90s band with the rise of poppy alt rock. Their career seems to have been rather crippled by drug problems, various feuds with record labels, but most of this seems to have fallen on their singer and one constant member, Ginger. They broke up in 1997 after having some chart success, but soon they would reform in 2001 for a reunion record. It’s title was The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed
, and it seems to be business as usual.
This is the kind of record where as soon as the opener began, I knew what I was getting. Opener “Nexus Icon” seemed to have most of what the album’s other tracks contained; which were poppy choruses, emphasis on guitar riffs, and this fun mix of pop and hard rock/heavy metal. Sure enough, that’s what most of the tracks are. This is a good example of what many would call a “summer record”; it’s just catchy, hooky fun that would fit well at an amusement park for instance. But, for actual listening, this album didn’t seem to have much to offer. Sure, it’s fun and catchy, but the songs often follow the same formula, which makes this feel more like an album that would be driven by a hit single. The lyrical themes seem to be vague, but the way they’re written can be funny or biting, which offers more fun. The musicianship is excellent, but most of the songs are driven by hooks so the band as a whole doesn’t really ever come forward. This doesn’t mean that the band needs guitar solos or anything, because they occasionally come out and deliver one, but the rhythm section generally feels faceless.
If you’re looking for some fun, catchy music to listen to during the summer, this record will most likely satisfy you. As a traditional listening experience though, this record feels ridden with filler and formulaic songwriting, despite delivering fun hooks quite often. The mix of heaviness and power pop of course had its moments, but this is a record that would most likely only sound good if played during a party or something like that. Check it out if you’re looking for some fun rock music, but don’t expect true greatness.