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Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before Vol. 1

The Wildhearts

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Album Review

Following a decade of drug problems, behind the scenes fractions, and a never-ending merry go round of lineup changes, it's quite a feat that Newcastle hard rockers the Wildhearts have managed to remain intact now for two consecutive albums. While their small but loyal fan base might be disappointed that the follow-up to their 2007 self-titled offering is a covers LP, the majority of material on Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before, Vol. 1 is so obscure that Ginger and co. could have gotten away with passing it off as their own. Indeed, despite name-checking the likes of the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and Kurt Cobain on the 1994 Suckerpunch B-side "29 x The Pain," none of its 15 widely-known covers are given the authentically chaotic Wildhearts treatment. There are a few nods to relatively mainstream acts such as a surprisingly faithful performance of Welsh neo-psychedelics Super Furry Animals' 1998 mullet-inspired hit single "Ice Hockey Hair," a straightforward cover of Grammy Award-winners Soul Asylum's 1986 While You Were Out's "The Judge," and a retooling of the Icicle Works' 1986 minor hit single "Understanding Jane," which turns the epic new wave original into a blink-182-esque slice of turbo charged punk-pop. But elsewhere, the 15 tracks here read like a who's-who of '80s and '90s underground alt-rock, which apart from former Scottish touring mates Baby Chaos ("Rearrange You") and Australian indie trio Regurgitator ("Everyday Formula"), unexpectedly focus on punk, metal, and rock sounds to distinguish themselves from their American contemporaries. While their renditions of Washington post-hardcore outfit Fugazi's "Waiting Room," California's punk rockers the Descendents' "Pep Talk," and Seattle grungers Foil's "AC Rocket" are just as blisteringly melodic and guitar-crunching as the originals, Wildhearts' signature sound is already so similar that it renders the album's whole concept rather pointless. Only their energetic thrash rock interpretation of sardonic singer/songwriter Warren Zevon's haunting ballad "Carmelita," a rather appropriate tale of a heroin-addicted writer, attempts to differentiate itself from the source material. While no one would be expecting the Wildhearts to start covering Girls Aloud or Usher, a little more variety akin to fellow rockers Queensrÿche's Take Cover or Rage Against the Machine's Renegades, wouldn't have gone amiss. Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before, Vol. 1 is a passable if unremarkable stop-gap album but if, as its title suggests, it's to be the first in a series, the band would do to delve a little deeper into their record collection next time round. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A covers album that's actually good??? Yep... You read it here!

So, what any perspective buyer wants to know is; is it any good? The title answers that question. Yes it's good, infact it's more than good it's great! If you're a Wildhearts fan buy it, I can assure you it won't disappoint. If you've heard the free tracks previewed on the wildhearts myspace site, then its more of the same. Listening through the album you can hear odd little snippets here and there from where The Wildhearts have 'borrowed' in the past. Standout tracks for me are 'Understanding Jane', 'Battleship Chains', 'Waiting Room', 'Ice Hockey Hair', sod it, they're all great! Probably not the best album for a newcomer to the band to buy, get a copy of P.H.U.Q or The Wildhearts listen to them lots, then buy this. Recommended.

Great covers album, almost unmistakeably Wildhearts

Been a fan since the original EPs, and Dogs D' before that. This album takes the Wildhearts back to what they're good at - legs akimbo powerchord pop-punk with huge hooks and great harmonies. The only place it stumbles is where there's not enough reinvention of the songs - notably Unsung and Waiting Room, both great songs and good covers, but sounding like the Wildhearts (a highly original band) are simply trying to carbon-copy the originals, down to the vocal sleights. No matter, great album, bring on volume 2!

Awesome covers!

As always, The Wildhearts latest album offers adrenalin fuelled anthems, covering some well known and some lesser known bands that have influenced them over the years, giving them The Wildhearts twist to make great songs even better than the originals! Best tracks are The Distillers cover The World Comes Tumblin', the great pop punk song Understanding Jane (originally by The Icicle Works) and Rearrange You (originally by the highly underrated, former label mates on East West, Baby Chaos), but there is no bad track on the whole album and it will be played to death on my iPod! Buy it, buy it, buy it......... and if you've never seen them live, do it because no one rocks better than Ginger and co.!!!!

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and War

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Wildhearts were the kind of band that the British rock press has wet dreams about: creatively brilliant, completely out-of-control, and utterly doomed from day one. Led by charismatic lunatic Ginger, the group's turbulent career lived up to the highest (or lowest, as it were) expectations, with all the ups and downs of a roller-coaster ride, which, after numerous frightening twists and turns, finally derailed in...
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Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before Vol. 1, The Wildhearts
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