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"P.H.U.Q." is the 2nd studio album by British metal artists, the Wildhearts. It was released in 1995 on east west Records and produced by Mark Dodson & Simon Efemey. The line-up for the album was Ginger (vocals/guitar), Danny McCormack (bass), Ritch Battersby (drums) and Willie Dowling (keyboards).
With the addition of drummer Ritch Battersby, replacing Stidi on the drum stool, the Wildhearts followed up their 1993 debut studio album with "P.H.U.Q." to much acclaim. It definitely saw the band reach the dizzy heights of the best of its career and the album reached no.6 in the UK album charts, spawning two singles, "I Wanna Go Where the People Go" and "Just in Lust", reaching 16 and 28 respectively in the UK singles charts.
The album's opener, "I Wanna Go Where the People Go" punches in with a heavy beat and a sing-along chorus; one which gets the crowd going at live gigs even today, and is clearly the stand-out song on the album.
Ginger's style of writing music has always been diverse and you find yourself jumping from one extreme to the other on "P.H.U.Q.", with the slow tempo, ballad-esque "Jonesing For Jones" sitting in the middle of the album, to be followed by the almost thrash-toned "Woah S**t, You Got Through", with its distorted guitars and vocals.
Other gems on the album include "Caprice", which is a power-based harmonious song with a monster chorus which you'll be singing along to after the first listen. "In Lilly's Garden" is the most underrated song on the album. The style is very reminiscent of the Beatles and you can almost imagine John Lennon singing the lyrics which begin "Honesty will set you free but individuality is wonderland". Ginger always said he wanted to release it as a single but the record company decided against it and released "Just in Lust" instead.
The album's ending song "Getting It" has a hidden track at the end, which is always sung by the crowd at the end of every Wildhearts gig. The band leaves the stage, the crowd sings "Don't worry 'bout me, don't worry 'bout me. I'll be alright, don't worry 'bout me." over and over again; something you can still hear for minutes after you leave the venue as the song continues in the streets.
In summary, this is my favourite Wildhearts album for many reasons. I saw the band live in a few places around the country on this tour and met a lot of new friends doing so. But the album itself is really good, it's pop/rock, it's heavy metal, and it's everything else inbetween. Don't just take my word for it, this is an album you need to own.
1. I Wanna Go Where the People Go
3. Just in Lust
4. Baby Strange
5. Nita Nitro
6. Jonesing For Jones
7. Woah S**t, You Got Through
8. Cold Patootie Tango
10. Be My Drug
11. Naivety Play
12. In Lilly's Garden
13. Getting It
My rating: 9/10
Released in 1995, PHUQ by The Wildhearts and released by East West Records (the company known for screwing them over) is one of the band's better and possibly classic releases, although it was released when the band were at a bit of a turning point in their career.
Originally a raw, rough and ready-to-rock punk band The Wildheart's music has gradually become progressively more commercialized over the years with their latest release, Chutzpah, proving just that. As frontman Ginger once said himself 'in music you have to change with the times'.
Being released in 1995, PHUQ goes back to the band's roots and their punk influences are imminently clear on the album. It's real rock music, it's raw, it's heavy and it's not overly polished despite being a commercial release. PHUQ gives you a taste of what The Wildhearts are really all about. I still to this day do not know why it's titled PHUQ or what that stands for though.
The album kicks off with classic track which has remained one of my favourite's of all time, I Wanna Go Where The People Go. With monsterous heavy guitar riffs and melodic vocals about just wanting to party this is an extremely catchy upbeat song. This is followed by the more rhythmically pounding V-Day which is just as catchy and then Just In Lust, another incredbly catchy song with very entertaining lyrics.
The fourth track entitled Baby Strange seems to shift into a slightly more alternative style and runs for less than a minute before kicking straight into Nita Nitro, a slightly calmer song but with a strong melodic vocal style combined with rhythmic stomping guitar riffs and catchy backing vocals.
In my opinon there are a couple of weak tracks on the album, which would be Caprice, Be My Drug and Naivity Play. However, the other tracks do make up for them, especially the thunderous Cold Patootie Tango and the raw and rocking Woah Sh*t, You Got Through.
So Whilst PHUQ is a fairly old album, it fails to sound dated and provides a collection of strong Wildheart's tracks which are difficult to beat. It's oozing originality and you don't know what you're missing without it.
This is basically the definative Wildhearts album. This is the album I always tell people to buy first, or lend them first. The whole album kind of plays as one long sigle pice of musioc rather than as a mass of singular songs. This is not to say that all the songs ound the same, but rather there is en extremely clever flow throughout the album, especially in the last half. P.H.U.Q opener, "I wanna go..." kicks things off in a way most bands can generally only hope for. From the intro riff to the final feedback laced chord, it's ball to the wall. Amazingly, it clocks in at just over 5 minutes. But like Nirvana's "smells like teen spirit", you'd never know it wasn't another 3 minute pop song. This was the Wildhearts biggest "hit" making a good attack on the british top 20, and ending in a one of many Top of the Pop performances. V-day, jutters in on a simple statacco riff which is brilliantly juxtaposed with the sweetest chorus. Just in lust in probally the poppiest song on the album and made a great second single, despite having the worst video in the world (even Ginger would agree). Babystrnge serves a short minute-long intro into Nita Nitro, which is yet another highlight of the album. Mutted riffs and a massive drum fill echo out in a dreched feedback swirl before the main riff kicks in. I dare you not to be pogoing around your bedroom by the end of it. jonsing for Jones is a slowish "ballad" (Not in the bon jovi sense of the word) and suddenly you realise that your halfway throught the album already. They all seem to have the habit of doing that actually( just goes to show what a great song writer ginger is). Woah shit, you got through, blast onto the scene, spits a pint of veno,m in your ear and is gone, leaving you a bit stunned, before the 4 song "combo" of Cold pattootie tango, caprice, be my drug and Naivity play takes yo
u awa yon a cloud of uplifting melancholy. It's oddhow ginger can write aboput the nastiest most depressing subjects and still manage to twist them on their heads to produce an uplifting message and tune. This 4 song "combo" i 've refered too, Well, I kinda find myself listening to the start of Cold Pattootie and then find myself realising that naivity play has just finished. Maybe it's just me that it happens to, I'm not sure. But it works and the songs are fab. In lilly garden is a slowwy ans a crowd favourite. P.H.U.Q ends on a big note, with the rock out of Getting it. A simple riff with big chourus and sing along attitude. The bonus track " Don't Worry 'bout me sounds like it is being played on a cracked gramaphone and has become the "end of gig" chant, which has a times over spilled into the "going down the tube escalators" chant and the "I'm going home on the train and scaring all the normal people" chant. Best sung in Lager flat C. P.H.U.Q is the first album to actually have some decent production backing up the songs. Easrth Vs, was actually remixed demo's, believe it or not. Neither too polished, or too rough, this is the kinda production that Nirvana's nevermind should have had. This is a definate fan favourite and an album that every rock fan should own. I promise you 100% you will ove it, and if you aren't hooked and trying to hunt out all their other releases a week after you buy this, you must be deaf or stupid. Or both. Enjoy.
I was 16 back in 1995 and still listening to all the uninspired crap the music industry kept pouring into the charts. A friend bought this album and kept going on about how cool it was because it came in a purple velvet slipcase. I took him for a complete fool, buying an album for its looks – no doubt it was one of those ‘crap’ metal bands… …How wrong I was. I borrowed the album so that I had a decent foundation to give my mate a good slagging off, and instantly fell in love with it. Yes folks, this album is solely responsible for getting me into rock/metal music – it’s that good it changed my life! A constant barrage of songs, both heavy and light, capturing all sorts of Ginger’s emotions along the way. On the heavier side of things there is ‘Naivety Play’ and ‘Whoa Shit, You Got Through’, proving that the Wildhearts can write songs to headbang to. Also present are the milder songs such as ‘Caprice’ and ‘Jonesing for Jones’. Each song is an individual creation of its own, yet none of them are boring. There is always a song for your particular mood, and if nothing else, this album will leave you with a big, fat grin on your face, humming the last riff you heard for days to come! The Wildhearts are an adrenaline-fuelled legacy to the best of British rock music and this album captures these elements perfectly. If you were lucky enough to see them live you will know just what I mean. …Oh, and if you get the limited edition, you get it in a purple velvet slipcase – how cool is that?! ;)
This albumn contains some of the best songs ever written by the wildhearts. Even if you are not a fan I think that this albumn would appeal to anyone who enjoys listerning to alternative rock/metal. The wildheatrs can not be compared to any other band due to their individuality and this quality certainly shines through in this albumn. It is a mixture of mainstream rock shown in songs like "I wanna go where the people go" and more meaningful but by no means any less enjoyable moments on the albumn such as "jonesing for jones". I think that this albumn would be enjoyed by anyone who likes the guitar and individuality.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Wanna Go Where The People Go
2 V Day
3 Just In Lust
4 Baby Strange
5 Nita Nitro
6 Jonesing For Jones
7 Woah Shit You Got Through
8 Cold Patootie Tango
10 Be My Drug
11 Naivety Play
12 In Lilly's Garden
13 Getting It
14 Don't Worry 'bout Me