A friend once questioned my musical tastes. “What do you do when you want to mellow out?” I believe that she was telling me that I should listen to her favorite band, the Eagles (something which I would never do). I replied “Watch television or take a nap. Rock and roll is supposed to be fast, loud, aggressive, and a bit obnoxious.” The Wildhearts debut “Earth vs. The Wildhearts” fits this philosophy perfectly. Visualize a blender with equal parts hard rock, glam, and punk in it and you would have England’s The Wildhearts.
In 1993, The Wildhearts dropped their debut on the world and the band quickly became a vehicle for singer, lyricist, guitarist and too tough to be a rock and roll casualty Ginger. Stories of his rock excess are legendary, but he is a great pop tunesmith. A former member of the London Quireboys, Ginger has taken his cues from Slade, New York Dolls, Ramones, Starz, and Jason and the Scorchers to great heights.
Earth vs. The Wildhearts goes from 0 to 120mph with “Greetings From Shitsville.” The general attitude of we hate our hometown gets a good workout here. “Why do we stay here, God only knows, it’s not the scenery, greetings now from Shitsville, London!” The grass is always greener on the other side. The Wildhearts look at things with a very jaundiced eye and their song titles show it. “Shame on Me,” “Drinking About Life,” “Suckerpunch,” and “Love Shit” are a few of the gems here. Despite the cynicism, this record is pure unadulterated joy and fun. There is not a downer in the bunch.
Ginger and crew are masters at crafting catchy melodies and harmonies that have you singing along with them. “TV Tan” celebrates the great indoors. “Move along, I’m working on my 3D TV tan.” The song appears to have two or three different choruses. One thing is sure though, the Wildhearts are masters of the killer hook.
The stars of the album may be “Caffeine Bomb” and “My Baby is a Headfuck.” These songs happily bludgeon you into a willing submission. “Caffeine Bomb” tells of the search for a remedy to allow you to recover from the previous night’s excess so you can get to tonight’s party. Oh, the sweet rock and roll lifestyle. “My Baby is a Headfuck” is a classic breakup tale. Have you ever had a girl/boyfriend mess with you and seem to revel in it? This is a great description of the escape.
Earth vs. The Wildhearts is a classic. It’s a 52 minute leap from whatever is bothering you. Buzzsaw guitars, a pile driving rhythm section, and some of the greatest melodies that you will ever hear are here. Earth vs. the Wildhearts? The Wildhearts win. By a knockout.
— Jim McCabe
- “Greetings from Shitsville” 4:32
- “TV Tan” 4:30
- “Everlone” 6:30
- “Shame on Me” 3:58
- “Loveshit” 3:57
- “Miles Away Girl” 5:37
- “My Baby Is a Headfuck” 4:27
- “Suckerpunch” 2:59
- “News of the World” 5:49
- “Drinking About Life” 2:03
- “Love You ’till I Don’t” 5:04
- Ginger – vocals, guitar, producer
- C.J – guitar, vocals, producer
- Danny McCormack – bass, producer
- Stidi – drums, producer
- Willie Dowling – piano & keyboards
- Mick Ronson – guitar solo on “My Baby is a Headfuck”
- Stevie Lang – backing vocals on “Loveshit”
- Sarah Smith- Saxophone