The Wildhearts – ‘Chutzpah Jnr’ (Backstage Alliance) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Whistance   
Friday, 08 January 2010 18:17

ChutzpahJnrI have fond memories of a cold December night back in 1991, and venturing down from the valleys to Cardiff's infamous Bogiez nightclub to watch a gig by the self proclaimed howling mad shitheads Wolfsbane. However, before Blaze and Co. would tear apart the building there was another band I was equally excited about seeing. A band that featured two former members of bands that I adored, namely Ginger from the Quireboys and Bam from the Dogs D'Amour.  That band, of course, was The Wildhearts.

 

From the moment the band hit the stage and tore into the opening riff of 'Nothing Changes But The Shoes' so began a love affair that continues nearly two decades on. The Wildhearts have since become one of the greatest British institutions of musical integrity and in frontman Ginger they have one of the most talented singer/songwriters this fair country has produced. 

 

Fast-forward to 2009 and the masterpiece 'Chutzpah', already a firm favourite here at Über Röck. Anybody lucky enough to have caught the recent Wildhearts Xmess tour would surely own a copy of the aforementioned full-blown album, and would be literally chomping at the merch booth table to get their hands on this all-new album right? If not...why not, are you insane???????

 

For those of you unaware of what I'm on about, 'Chutzpah Jnr' is an album of outtakes that were recorded for the 'Chutzpah' album, eventually being left off as the band didn't want to change the overall momentum of the project.   would hasten to point out that these songs were not left off the album due to them not being up to scratch, on the contrary, the eight kick ass tracks that make up this mini album would take on any of the other so called new talent featured in the UK's mainstream music press these days and frankly knock seven shades of shit out of them.

 

Album opener 'Chutzpah Jnr' is 58 seconds of pure punk rock fury, originally intended as the album opener for 'Chutzpah' even sharing the same opening riff as 'The Jackson Whites' - I believe this is the one track that I would have loved to have remained on the original cut.

 

'The Snake, The Lion, The Monkey And The Spider' meanwhile was written about Ginger's infamous meltdown at a London gig in December 2008, which I find quite remarkable after witnessing the band in fine form only weeks earlier at a triumphant Shepherds Bush show. I suppose this just goes to show that even a musical genius such as Ginger can succumb to the everyday pressures of life that affect us all.... especially when you're sober! 'All The Zen' was originally penned for a solo project during Ginger's fifty songs in fifty days project, and is a great melodic number that could sit equally happily amongst The Wildhearts or his solo work alike.

 

Next up is 'Vernix', my personal favourite track. How could you possibly describe this track?  Well, let me just use the words of Ginger himself, "It's like 'Bohemian Rhapsody' on PCP". A song described as 'too jazzy' for the original 'Chutzpah' album, it begins in a gentle melodic fashion before quickly speeding up into a sonic mindfuck, pausing only for a moment whilst Ginger catches his breath. This really is what I love about the Wildhearts, never afraid to challenge the musical status quo, and always a musical tour de force.

 

'Under The Waves' was originally written in a prison like hotel room in Germany, giving it a gay German disco groove, hated by Scott and CJ and loved by Ginger and Ritch, I sway in the latter category, this is simply great.

 

'Some Days Just Fucking Suck' featuring the chorus refrain of "Don't try suicide everything will be alright", is pretty self-explanatory telling us, don't worry however bad things appear, there are always good things just waiting to happen.

 

Moving on anybody who witnessed the fantastic gigs by Sorry And The Sinatras last year, (and to be honest there wasn't enough of you, shame on you), would have seen the awesome, 'People Who Died' by the late Jim Carroll being played as the final swansong, so no surprises here, just a great song.

 

Album closer 'Zeen Requiem' is a song originally written for the self-titled White album, as a tribute to Wildhearts artist and friend Danny Deen, who tragically committed suicide. The track exploring the emotions and sense of longing that a suicide victim brings to the people close to them. The ones they eventually leave behind. Not fitting in with the songs on the White album and not being appropriate for the fun style of the 'Chutzpah' album, this is a sombre yet perfect end to the album.

 

If I had to say one negative comment towards 'Chutzpah Jnr' it would be.... where the hell can I get a copy? This deserves to be heard by more than those lucky enough to have made those approved_image_lrgXmess shows, c'mon guys get it up on the website for us to buy...NOW!!!!!!

 

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