CJ Wildheart : Blood

CJ Wildheart has been promising us a “heavy” album for a while now and with ‘Blood’ he has certainly delivered. Probably via a low-loader with an escort van; this one is heavy indeed.

Yep, the melodic man of The Wildhearts has dropped an angular and shouty punk record and that is just what we were craving. It’s just what we’re always craving.

Now, like it or not, you can’t really review an album by a solo Wildheart without referring to and in the end comparing it to… The Wildhearts. And, where in the past we’ve perhaps been a bit guilty of writing off CJ’s work as second rate Wildhearts material or simply just missing a bit of input from the rest of the band; this one stands up on it’s own just fine.

The Wildhearts have always (well, not always but mostly) had that magic mix of CJ’s melody and Ginger’s gritty vocals. On their own, they aren’t all that special, but when they are intertwined with each other they cook up a glorious storm. With ‘Blood’ however, CJ seems to nail both sides of the vocal coin. His sugar sweet vocal melody is there but he also smashes through some angular angsty barking too.

Check out the track ‘Kiss It’ for some real punch!

And then, there are the riffs. Good lord the riffs! A simple and essential ingredient for any rock fan, especially those who like to feast on Ginger and CJ’s work. Pounding barrages of raw guitars dominate the album. You want huge rollicking riffs? Check out ‘Gutless’ and ‘Lazybones’ and you should be more than satisfied.

As usual, tensions have been high in The Wildhearts camp of late. It’s certainly never dull with that lot as their moods change with the wind. Whether CJ intentionally went down the straight forward ‘Wildhearts route for this record as a reaction to that, or he just simply put out a record that reminds us of the glory days, we don’t know. If you strip away a couple of those electronic beats and soundbites however, then you indeed have what is essentially a Wildhearts record.

A really fucking good Wildhearts album, actually.