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'Year Of The Fanclub'
(Round Records)
Release date: February 12th 2016

Jeff Kunze

jeff kuntze

ginger wildheart

Ginger has navigated fan-funded campaigns with huge success. With '555%', 'Hey!Hello!', 'Mutation', and 'Albion' projects under his belt, he looked to give fans even more accessibility. He created G.A.S.S. (Ginger Association Secret Society), which gives access to Ginger himself.

With a subscription members get new singles every month, demos and previously unreleased material, personal Q&A's, podcasts, diary entries, and exclusive merchandise. The new album, 'Year Of The Fanclub' features twelve tracks selected by Ginger from the G.A.S.S. releases.

The songs are vast array of style and sounds that compliment Ginger's ecliptic style and willingness to dip into any genre to create something all his own. He has refused to be confined by musical boundaries and has created a genre that can only be described as "Ginger".

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The album opens with the popper 'Down The Dip'. It mixes a big groove, lots of melody, and a rousing harmony that gives the song a massive sound with a big kick.

It's vintage Ginger Wildheart delivering the goods and it continues with the second track entitled 'Honour'. With Ginger playing in Courtney Love's live band, it wasn't a surprise to see her contribute to a song.

The opening guitar riff sets the table to the catchiest song of the twelve. It's a straight-ahead rocker with a superb hook. Love's voice meshes perfectly with Ginger's giving the song a very cool dynamic.

The album takes a hard left with the more laid back 'El Mundo (Slow Fatigue)' and 'The Last Day Of Summer'. The first is difficult to describe. It utilizes Beatle-sounding poppy verses and chorus with horns and other various instruments. Out of nowhere comes a wall of sound that sounds closer to his Mutation project than anything else.

It would seem that that the polar opposite sounds would clash but it works. The second is an acoustic driven song that thrives on its simplicity. The chorus provides the hook with multiple layered vocalists.

'Only Henry Rollins Can Save Us Now' is a real gem. The cleverness of the lyrics interacting with the power and melodic hooks is pure genius. Its also a driving rocker which hints back to the 'Hey!Hello!' song 'How I Survived The Punk Rock Wars'. How he comes up with this stuff is beyond me.

'The Pendine Incident' and 'If You Find Yourself In London Town' has a bit of the 'Geordie In Wonderland' vibe to it. Both are classic Ginger songs that use a bit of folk and country to lay the foundation. The same can be said for 'Toxins & Tea', however it has bigger sounding chorus attached to it.

'Do You?' is a moderate rocker with layered guitars and vocal harmonies that dwells on the subject of suicide. 'No One Smiled At Me Today' is paced but it's guitar riff has that classic hard rock groove to it. If you're looking for a hard rocker that has that vintage Wildhearts sound, look no further than “Ostracide'.

It's loud with big melodic hooks that carry the chorus. The amazing closer 'Don't Lose Your Tail' is its own epic treasure. Through the nine minutes, Ginger throws everything he can think of at you, then adds a little more. The song is in constant shift and feel. He somehow is able to take all the varying parts and wrapped them into a single brilliant package.

Ginger dives deep with these twelve tracks both musically and lyrically. This is my favorite release since The Wildheart days. The songs are crafted to perfection.

Ginger is able to tell his stories with all the emotion and feeling carried through each word and note. This is a great release that defines his true talent for songwriting. It's an album not to be missed.

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