In 2019, The Wildhearts made a triumphant return with their first full-length album in about 10 years, Renaissance Men (read our review here). Although the quartet had been playing shows for several years prior, the aforementioned record cemented the group’s return to delighted fans. Furthermore, it wasn’t just another album to add to their discography, it really was something special. Now, following up on this fine return to form for Ginger Wildheart and the group as a whole, we have 21st Century Love Songs, and it does not disappoint!
From start to finish the 21st Century Love Songs is a rollercoaster ride of the unique brand of Brit-rock that only The Wildhearts can deliver. Infusing the likes of glam, punk, a touch of trash, and good old-fashioned rock n’ roll, the record is a homage to the group’s early years. The opening title track, “21st Century Love Songs,” is an eruption of heavy guitars, bass and drums along with melodic riffs and Ginger’s distinct vocals. The track crams so many varying musical moments into five minutes that it’s hard to believe that it would work, but it does.
“Sleepaway” is a massive stand-out of the album and demonstrates what The Wildhearts do best. It opens with a simple, yet captivating guitar riff which is then accompanied by a deep bassline and drum beats. Once again, Ginger’s exceptional vocals are at the forefront. So many elements are present throughout this track and yet are fused together to perfection. The first time this song got spun it took me back to the moment I first heard “I Wanna Go Where the People Go” from the band’s most commercially successful album, P.H.U.Q.. I suspect it will become a live show favourite. “You do You” and “Sort Your Fucking Shit Out” also pull a similar vibe by also calling back to the guys’ most well-loved songs.
The Wildhearts are a band that has faced turbulent times with each member battling their own demons. Ginger and bassist Danny McCormack are no strangers to the concept of rock bottom, but both have faced their troubles head on and channelled said struggles into something positive, not to mention become inspirations for all who face dark times. 21st Century Love Songs is a testament to the group’s endurance and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
21st Century Love Songs Track Listing:
1. 21st Century Love Songs
2. Remember These Days
4. Institutional Submission
6. You Do You
7. Sort Your Fucking Shit Out
9. A Physical Exorcism
10. My Head Wants Me Dead
Run Time: 43:30
Release Date: September 3, 2021
Record Label: Graphite Records