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Hey! Hello!: Hey! Hello!

Album Review

Former Wildheart just keeps on peaking.

A sticky-sweet sugar rush of a record, Hey! Hello! is part Cheap Trick, part bubblegum punk and all Ginger, further splendid proof of his musical liberation by Pledge.

Here at last is the man that record companies across the Western world thought they were getting two decades ago, a wonderfully creative writer who, like Quentin Tarantino, is essentially the sum of his artistic influences. Pour them in at one end and a deeply referential yet entirely singular vision emerges from the other. 

He’s unrestricted by commercial imperatives and so follows his muse: this record is closest to Silver Ginger Five; his next two are ‘a demented noise-rock project’ called Mutation. Only he unites them. 

Paired with the New York singer Victoria Liedtke, who offers a shiny counterpoint to his own idiosyncratic charms, Ginger toys with some joyous melodies over 10 songs that make the case for brevity. How I Survived The Punk Wars is a personal manifesto, Lock For Rock an arch rewrite of 80s-era Bon Jovi or Def Leppard, Black Valentine an almost perfect pop song. 

‘I’m gonna light the cigar I’ve been waiting to light,’ he sings at one point. Feel free, old bean. You’ve earned it this time.

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