The third single from the hotly anticipated Wildhearts album 21st Century Love Songs. They’ve done a proper video and everything for this one. Well, I say proper. To prepare the bands audience for the content of this video Smiley Bone In Chief Ginger spent the two weeks before the premiere drip feeding video reviews of Ginger’s Guide To Gore Movies. The video (As posted below) comes with age restrictions and warnings and stuff. Proper might not be the right word.
Sleepaway launched on Friday 13th (props!) on YouTube (not the usual 5:55pm as the band were about to take the stage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival at that time). Well, I’m delighted to say it’s bloody marvelous. That is to say it’s bloody and it is marvellous.
Over sun drenched opening notes a huge slice of upbeat heavy happiness unrolls to thundering drums and harmonics matched to the bands tried, tested (and trusted implicitly) harmonies. That the new albums most aerodynamic preview tune so far comes with a proper budget video that is un-broadcastable because of the buckets of blood sloshing about in it, is totally a Wildhearts thing to do. Splatter-Mania is a topic the band have held close to their core since before the debut album. Their whole B-Movie/Horror aesthetic fits the world they built perfectly. My Kinda Movie… As they say.
“With the heart still buried from when I was yours, when I was yours, but the voice still carries from when I was yours, When I was yours, through the hills and valleys, Sing when I was yours, When I was yours”
It’s safe to say there are more, ideas, hooks, time changes, melodies and styles in this one song than many bands achieve in an entire album. It’s a song that appears to be about turning regret into learning and the source of unhappiness into energy to make positive changes. In what could be the songs fourth (maybe fifth) gear change Ginger delivers a long wordy melodic lyric train punctuated with chants of “Step by step” from the band. At one point it results in a call out of “Fuck the negativity” Before picking up pace even further. These guys are like a good therapist with hollow bodied guitars.
Full on rock and roll dude Dregen from The Hellacopters recently reviewed the new album and described it as Sepultura meeting T-Rex at The Toy Dolls house. This song particularly seems to be the inspiration for that magnificent album sleeve that updates Mondo-Akimbo-A-Gogo’s toy arrow through a pigs heart for a murderous slasher of a film poster with hooks aplenty of a different kind.
There are waltzes and glam rock and thrash metal and big 70’s mega-rock inspired moments and more breakdowns than a demolition derby. The multitude of melodies and direction changes put me in mind of the Fishing For Luckies era of the band. The chug and chat section in which the lyrics speak of self love (No! Not THAT!) as a healing process gives me goose bumps.
“About time I gave me all that love? I been spending on the moon and stars, I’ve been close enough but no cigar, I’m gonna take that jib from round my neck and throw it in the river, I been asleep too long and now I’m home gonna soak that soul into my bones, there’s a difference between being lonely and being alone”
On a chant of “I need a real love” the song works it’s way to a pay off so rewarding it’ll make you feel like you just won a prize. This is big rock music for big halls and fields of people to bounce along to screaming the words and smiling like fools. fear no Lock Down Part Four! It works just as well in the car or on a dog walk. I’ve tested it, thoroughly.
It’s not out yet and I’ve only heard three songs from it (Directions is being quite elusive) but I’m declaring 21st Century Love Songs a contender to stand up to Senjutsu in September. It looks like it might take Maiden’s metal album of the year crown before there’s even been a coronation. It’s just a sleepaway.