For those of you that don't know, The Wildhearts made a fantastic comeback in 2007 with their self-titled album, The Wildhearts, which was probably the best album they have produced in their (approximately) twenty year career. The album had a great fresh new sound and was made up of several classic tracks.
They have followed this up with Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before Vol. 1. This indicates that there could be a Vol. 2 in the future! The album is made up of fifteen cover songs from the band's favourite artists and was released on 19th May 2008. While the album contains no original songs by the band themselves, they have taken some pretty bad songs and turned them into rock classics quite impressively.
The two tracks that stand out the most for me are the amazing transformation of Warren Zevon's Carmelita, which sounds much better as a heavy rock song than it does as a vocal country track - very impressive, and Understanding Jane, which is really catchy.
The album does contain a few classics from the past such as Unsung by Helmet, which is a classic track in it's own right and Battleship Chains by Georgia Satellites. While not all these tracks are particularly of The Wildhearts usual standard, there are a select few tracks which make the album worth listening to. These are Understanding Jane (The Icicle Works), The World Comes Tumblin' (The Distillers), Unsung (Helmet), Ice Hockey Hair (Super Furry Animals), Rocket 69 (Lee Harvey Oswald Band), Rearrange You (Baby Chaos) and Carmelita (Warren Zevon).
It is quite an exciting concept overall and one which The Wildhearts have done well, though there are no original killer riffs and not the usual kick-ass attitude that you would expect from them. Still, a decent enough album all in all.
When I heard the Wildhearts were going to release a covers album I was a little worried, because often when bands do this they turn out to be a load of old codswallop, however this isn't too bad.
It's nowhere near being in the same league as their original material, but there are some highlights like 'Understanding Jane' (The Icicle Works) and 'Carmelita' (Warren Zevon), which are both truly excellent. There is an interesting mix of artists covered on this CD from Super Furry Animals to Georgia Satellites.
With only one track creeping over the 4 minute mark this is a much more 'in your face' punk record than most other Wildhearts material, with Ginger pushing his voice to the limit as he shouts out the vocals on tracks such as 'World Comes Tumblin' Down' (The Distillers). There 's not so much emphasis on the Wildhearts' trademark harmonies here either, as this is a grittier much more raw affair. You can imagine the band tearing through this set at a live gig, in a sweaty pub, and then chucking their instruments down and clearing off to tear the town apart!
Full of energy and angst this is a long way from sugar-coated albums like The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed. This sounds like something far more dangerous!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 AC Rocket
2 Geez Louise
3 Understanding Jane
4 World Comes Tumblin'
6 Waiting Room
7 Ice Hockey Hair
8 Possum Kingdom
9 Pep Talk
10 Rocket 69
11 Battleship Chains
12 Rearrange You
13 Everyday Formula