Well, this is a bit special…
The first H!H! album was a cracking little side project knocked out by Ginger Wildheart (of The Wildhearts notoriety) as a poppy upbeat counterpoint to the maelstrom that was the Mutation project, with both albums released simultaneously via PledgeMusic back in 2013.
Ginger has taken the template used for the first album, namely catchy-as-hell female-fronted pop rock with edgy lyrics, and turbo charged the formula on the aptly named Hey!Hello!Too! with the aid of a real band. Whereas the debut was recorded solely by Ginger himself (who proved surprisingly competent behind the kit), the addition of touring band members The Rev, Toshi and Ai and new singist Hollis Mahady has given the songs a huge power boost. This vehicle has been chipped off the scale.
The album opens with the previously released single Automatic Love. This barnstormer was first played at Ginger’s Halloween Hootenanny gig last November and, while a great rocker and sure-to-be crowd-pleaser, is somehow a misleading intro to the album, as it’s heavier (in terms of both style and mood) than the rest of the tracks.
Things move swiftly on to the humorous Kids, a warning to prospective parents: ‘make no mistake about it, kids are gonna screw you up’ before wondering how they turn into ‘creepy little motherfuckers’. This is followed by the first of three ‘covers’, a great version of 70’s band Sailor’s Glass of Champagne. The remaining covers are actually existing Ginger tracks Don’t Stop Loving the Music and Body Parts, which featured on the year-long GASS fanclub project and the Albion album respectively. While it may seem a cheat to re-record such recent tracks, there is no doubt they fit well alongside the rest of this collection and, as Ginger has already said, were only recorded earlier as it was unclear whether there would be any more H!H! at all. Anything that gets these tracks in front of a wider audience is fine by me.
It’s difficult to single out other tracks — this really is an all-round no filler, all thriller album, with songs you can sing along to before the end of your first listen, harmonies and all. By the time the final pairing of Little Piggy (the best girl power anthem since, er, Ginger’s last one) and the singalong knees up of Forever Young you realise 11 tracks and 38 minutes have passed impossibly quickly and it’s back to the start for another go round.
You can currently preorder the album from Round Records at PledgeMusic and Hey!Hello! will be touring in April. See you down the front!
Update: Well, what a difference 12 hours can make. Singer Hollis has left the band to concentrate on her own band, Love Zombies and so the tour has been cancelled. The statements are here, but they’ve released a new video for Let’s Get Emotional, which I think is more representative of the album.
Originally published at www.timcroydon.com on March 14, 2016.