The parent album for this track dropped yesterday and provided one of the last great British Rock moments of 2018 by crashing PayPal with its demand for preorders. Sending the twitter listening party into Black Friday Chaos there was a real buzz online not just about the album, but about how it’s popularity felt like a team win. Not bad for a bloke who hasn’t had a record deal in 20 years eh?
Punk, Pop, Metal, Country, Indie Star and musical Zelig, Ginger Wildheart is renowned for having a bit of a knack with a tune the same way crack is renowned for being a bit Moreish.
This man has made a considerable wedge of my favourite records since I first heard Mondo Akimbo A Go-Go all those years ago. So yep, I was swept along with it all and happy to be so.
Ginger has not been particularly coy about the fact he’s had a pretty rough year. He’s direct with his fans on social media and he’s had the sort of ride you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy recently.
When I use as context that Ginger’s 2018 has been pretty rough I don’t mean this album is just him baring his soul because he had a hard time. Lots of artists do that. This feels more like Ginger has been self medicating with music and playing the part of self therapist as songsmith because if he doesn’t dig deep here no one else is coming to save him.
He’ll wait and wait until he wastes and dies if he doesn’t do this to deal with all that. It feels that vital. Like he’s on his own, armed only with songs.
The Pessimists Companion sounds like a record that had to be made lest the man at the heart of it succumbed to the weight of his here and now. In Reverse is a prime example of the dexterity at play on basically describing how screwed everything is in an inspirational and inclusive way. It feels like insight shared not woes ‘oh is me’d’.
What a fucking gift this record is for anyone who might be going into similar dark spaces upstairs. It’s like a survival tool kit for a crisis. Ginger has peeled the skin off of his wounds to show that it hurts but it’s manageable. Not in a ‘chin up kiddo’ kinda way. More a ‘you might not make it out alive, but it’s a noble fight’ kinda way.
The record is heavy in subject but light in tone. Every melody is pretty and every arrangement accomplished and restrained, every lyric cuts to the heart of the matter. Depression, break ups, loneliness, sorrow it’s all there and it’s beautiful in it’s fullness.
Not by gasping at the horror but by framing a darkest hour with pretty acoustics and tiny pianos; Ginger has taken what he did on Ghost In The Tanglewood and he’s worked those emotional muscles into something that feels resilient through repeated trial and yet at home in a state of being constantly tested.
This isn’t having all the answers, this is the abyss staring back into you and liking what it sees.