The album, Don't Be Happy...Just Worry
was released as double-CD, 4 tracks on each, and double-12" originally, and re-released as a single CD in 1994. The first 4 songs on the album appear on the band's first EP, Mondo Akimbo A
Note on production, these being their first releases, the production found here is not as good as it would be on later releases. Mostly this is not a problem, as the production is still decent (well above garage-quality), but the vocals sometimes suffer.
1. Turning American
Starts with a riff, which doesn't seem as instantly great as many other Wildhearts riffs, but after first listening, I found myself humming it for several days afterwards. Anyway, the riff fades in, gradually getting louder, until it is joined by drums for a fairly slow intro, before speeding up. The instruments are minimal, though with fairly prominent guitar, for the verses, and again it's the lyrics that are the star. Unusually for a debut release, many songs seem less like straight-up rock "n" roll than on Earth vs.
, and there's a fair bit of messing around on the theme of the main riff. Only gripe is that the chorus gets slightly repetitive, as it's a 6 minute song.
When I was younger,
The smell of the hunger,
In all of the music you played,
Kept me believing,
You lived for the lifestyle,
And not just the cash to be made.
2. Crying Over Nothing
This is a song which I've criminally underplayed over the years. I just "discovered" it recently, and can't stop listening to it. It's not perfect (the whole EP is a little rough around the edges), but the intro and lyrics are fantastic. The intro is based on the main riff, and soon moves into the main part of the song. The lyrics are pretty much explained by the title, and are very good, although the vocals suffer from the production problems I mentioned.
You with this sadness in your eyes,
You got places you can dream to,
If you'd only take the time.
I've got the arms to break your fall,
But you're sad without a reason,
And that's the baddest kind of all.
3. Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes
One of the Wildhearts best known songs, at least from their earlier years, this track starts with some sad sounding guitar, before turning into a mini-anthem of staying strong in the face of adversity. This is, I think, the only song from their debut EP's that the band still plays anywhere near regularly (with the possible exception of Weekend..
), as it's a long time live favourite. It also has a very cool finish, where it diverges from the main tune and riff by a fair margin. I love it.
But you can't be the one who tries,
'Cos they love to criticize,
I know..or at least they'll try.
4. Liberty Cap
This song has another good intro, similar in style to that of Crying Over Nothing
, but I must admit that this is one of my less-favourite Wildhearts tracks. The verse is okay, but not great, as is the chorus, but then the bridge is very good, harsher than the rest of the song. The mellower "I'm coming down" bit towards the end I also like, and I love the outro section, short though it is.
Now this is a song I love. It's a song against censorship, written to the theme of Ginger's favourite type of film, B-movie horror. He's mainly talking about Evil Dead, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci (who is mentioned by name), but he also slips in a mention of Tromaville :D This is a really great, good-time rock'n'roll song, and comes behind only Nothing Ever Changes..
for me, on these EP's.
'Cos everyone's looking for someone to blame,
CensorshIt rules; still the problem remains,
You watch with your eyes closed and still you complain,
Til no one has an independent thought in their brain.
6 Something Weird (Going On In My Head)
This song is similar to Liberty Cap
in having a really cool intro, but then never really living up to expectations..as a result I don't really have much to say about it. It lacks the bridge Liberty Cap
has, but the lyrics, about schizophrenia or some other mental problem, make them pretty much equal.
7. Weekend (5 Long Days)
Probably the first song picked as an anthem for fans. It has so many lyrical gems throughout it that I'll be hard pressed to choose one to illustrate..live, it's a brilliant song, with the slowed down "At the weekend, baby baby, at the weekend" repetitions often going on about 20 times longer than it should do due to the crowd not letting Ginger get on with the end of the track.
Monday comes crashing in,
And all the world looks grey again,
Faces on the train seem grim,
When yesterday the same were smiling.
Another week to kill,
Another week where time stands still..
8. Dreaming In A
The perfect track to finish with, in my opinion. It's easily the slowest, most relaxed thing on either these EP's or Earth vs.
, and works similarly to later tracks from their second album, such as In Lilly's Garden
or Jonesing for Jones
. The lyrics are very simple, but I fuc
king love them; I equate them with the way I occasionally feel, often if I start worrying for a few minutes, suddenly I get a kind of seeping feeling of peace and a physical sensation of a cool breeze in a warm place: basically a feeling of "everything's gonna be okay". The simple lyrics and fuzzy guitars of Dreaming In A
reflect this perfectly.
And now I'm fine,
My mind is clear,
And nothing bad,
Can touch me here..
I'm feeling warm,
I want to stay,
I want to live,
My life this way..
Overall, Don't Be Happy...Just Worry
gets a 4/5.There are some moments to equal those on Earth vs.
, but it' nowhere near as consistent as their debut album.