Ginger Wildheart : Albion

Ab lionPledge campaign number three for Ginger Wildheart and this time around it’s the Ginger Wildheart Band. Mainly made up of the touring squad of the last few years plus the addition of the bonkers Brian Scary, this is supposedly more of a band effort than a Ginger solo project. There’s still plenty of unmistakably Ginger themes running through Albion however, so do not get alarmed…

The general release version of ‘Albion’ cuts out the fat to a slim-line ten tracks. Proceedings kick off with the understated Quo-styled riffing of ‘Drive’. A stripped back track when compared with the lush pop of Hey!Hello! or the armageddon bomb-blast of the ‘Mutation’ albums of last year.

It’s a theme that runs through the album. Long-time fans of Ginger’s solo outings (pre-Pledge campaigns) will be able to liken this to the ‘Market Harbour’ or ‘Yoni’ releases. It’s not a big hard rock album with punky riffs and barked out lyrics. ‘Albion’ is certainly as far away from The Wildhearts as we can get; this is a hook filled pop album, laid back and restfully cool. ‘Cambria’ goes against that view and is perhaps a brief moment of heaviness to keep the riff-hungry happy, but on the whole this is certainly one of Ginger’s lighter albums.

Influences from the rest of the band stand out in places. Chris Catalyst sings on ‘Burn This City Down’ which has a strong eighties pop sound. The title track bunches together everyone in a twisting and turning ten minute epic. A little bit mad but perhaps the most inventive track on this album.

With The Wildhearts regrouping and plenty of talk of a new album, a lot of Ginger fans will have one eye on the Pledge Music sight; credit cards at the ready. This is a good selection of songs, but in reality it’s typical Ginger solo output , perhaps not the far-out craziness that was at first promised.

After the stupendous glory of 555% and the massive variation on the Hey!Hello!/Mutation campaigns; you can’t help but think this is the weaker runt of the family. Having said that there may be bigger things to come from this collective, now they’ve worked together in the album making environment. They’ve certainly got the road miles under their belts.