Review: Ginger Wildheart – “G.A.S.S.” November
Sometimes, it seems that Ginger Wildheart has the ability to bend time and space to create extra minutes in the day to be as prolific as he has been over the past 5 years. Indeed, in the midst of a UK mini tour including a huge Halloween show at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, Ginger has found time to upload this month’s GASS offering, meaning he would have had to have been getting these ready while preparing for the tour and the multitude of other projects he seems to constantly be working on. But would the prolificacy equal a drop in the stellar quality he has produced so far?
Predictably, and happily, the answer is no. This month’s singles selection begins with the brilliantly titled Mr T & Me. The song opens with a big riff, but soon gives way to something much more touching and emotional, with lyrics describing a father and son relationship of some sort (obviously this is vague during the song itself, so this could be personal to Ginger himself or equally about someone else). It’s a touching sentiment, which fits the song perfectly without ever drifting into ballad material. The second offering, Location, Location, Location is the sort of track which would not have seemed out of place on the 555% album, showing off Ginger’s penchant for writing excellent pop hooks, and catchy choruses, as well as his underrated lyrical skills. Finally, we have One Way Down, a distorted sounding ballad, with a distinctively late 90s sound, which is my least favourite of the three, but certainly a well written track, which will undoubtedly grow on you over multiple listens.
As the months have gone on, you can begin to get a picture of when tracks were recorded, or certainly that they seem to come under a similar thematic heading, as I may have alluded to in previous reviews. This month there is a certain degree of introspection which is not uncommon in Ginger’s music from time to time, but also from a production standpoint these three tracks all have a very different mix to some of the earlier GASS releases, which links them together strongly, as well as sort of distortion effect over the vocals reminiscent of (but certainly not as extreme as) those used on the critically undervalued, and underappreciated Wildhearts album Endless Nameless.
Beyond the singles, we have the usual array of Ginger features, including an excellent horror corner feature looking at the ‘Grindhouse’ movement of recent years, with the focus mostly on Planet Terror and Machete. There is also a very in depth Q&A section covering a wide variety of topics, another instalment of Ginger’s Secret history of Rock ‘n Roll featuring the criminally underrated Fishbone, news on Ginger’s next big project, two demos (including one an alternate version of a song that ended up on 555%), and a whole lot more.
Month 7 of GASS is another strong offering, and I think with over half a year done we can qualify the experiment as an unmitigated success. In many ways, I’m glad it will only last for 12 months, as I don’t think this sort of scheme works as a long term project, or certainly shouldn’t unless Ginger wants to run himself into the ground. However, the fact he is pulling it off, and making producing this volume of music every month look effortless, is testament to the talent of the man himself, and I will continue to get excited for the start of every month, and a new release of GASS (pun intended).