Friday, 22 December 2017

Album Review: CJ WILDHEART - Blood

CJ Wildheart - Blood
01. Tea Leaf
02. Gutless
03. Lazybones
04. Beak
05. 50 Percent Indian
06. Tired Of Sex
07. Kiss It
08. Plastic Invasion
09. Itch
10. Lost In The Game

Having been a massive fan of The Wildhearts since I was a teenager, I've kept tabs on each band member's other bands and projects over the years. CJ has always delivered the goods, and his post-Wildhearts band Honeycrack was particularly awesome. He set the bar high a long time ago, and the fact that I still look forward to any record he's involved with, speaks volumes about the quality of his work.

Anyway, back to CJ's new record Blood, which is his fourth solo album. Overall it's a much heavier album than the previous ones, and has a more aggressive edge to it. Heavy and aggressive works for me, and this approach lends itself really well to this batch of songs.

Even though Ginger was credited as the sole songwriter of almost every Wildhearts song ever, records like Blood make me wonder how true that actually was. CJ's writing has such a strong Wildhearts vibe, especially on the more high-octane songs like Suckerpunch and Caffeine Bomb, that I believe that he was an essential part of that band's creative output. His new songs like Beak and Kiss It are very much in that vein, and sonically take me back to the 90's, whilst retaining a contemporary savagery in their production.

50 Percent Indian is my favourite track, with its anti-racist lyrics and storytelling done with a dark sense of humour, all blended with glorious melodies juxtaposed with some heavy riffing and Punk attitude.

Clocking in at around 33 minutes, Blood doesn't hang around and doesn't get boring. It's probably my favourite CJ record to date. I'd love to see CJ reach a wider audience than just us old Wildhearts fans though, as based on the strength of this record, the potential for his music to appeal to a new generation is certainly there. Either way, I hope we get plenty more albums as good as this one in the future.

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