Review: Ginger Wildheart – “G.A.S.S.” March
What a ride the last 12 months has been with GASS. Month after month Ginger has delighted his baying fanbase with content of the highest quality. Each month I question how on earth any musician can be that consistent and yet that varied, but every month Ginger find’s a new and more intriguing way to answer that question, and March is no exception.
The singles portion of this month’s presentation is quite different from any of the other months. Alvaro On The 2 is a mostly introspective, fairly sombre affair which erupts into life during the middle of the song with a huge riff. It’s No Good has a typically Ginger riff, catchy chorus, and undertones of prog, another track that would not have seemed out of place on 555%. Finally, The Final Time, Again? catches Ginger in what appears to be a very personal moment, musing on life with a certain hint perhaps at some of the battles he’s had with depression in the past, and been very vocal about in order to help others in that position. However, he still manages to pull out an epic sounding chorus, which would make an excellent album ending track if it makes the cut for the linear release.
In many respects these singles feel like the ‘all is lost’ moment in a good film, where the characters are dealing with big issues before the rousing , dramatic, and ultimately triumphant final climax takes place. However, all three are excellent additions to Ginger’s stellar output over the past 12 months.
The demos are another strong feature this month, with the Mutation-esque I’m An Upstart, and the wonderfully cheerful I’m Gonna Kiss You like I’m Going Away, which would eventually feature on Hey! Hello! in a slightly different format. I always enjoy the demos of the songs that I’m already familiar with, just to get an idea of the genesis of how they came about, and how different they could have been been had Ginger taken a slightly different course with the song.
Beyond the music, there is all the usual favourites, including the always entertaining Q&A, Ginger’s Horror Corner which this month has a distinct decapitation theme, and an in-depth look at the criminally underrated Deckard and Big Black in Ginger’s Secret History of Rock’n’roll.
Overall, GASS for March is another unsurprisingly strong month. I am a big fan of Mr Wildheart, but I try to stay objective and judge each month’s content as I would any other band or artist, looking for the good and the bad. But truthfully, Ginger Wildheart is no ordinary artist, and the fact he is completing this GASS project with such cool, calm, and relative ease is an achievement in itself, let alone that the level of consistency is so ludicrously high. Only one month to go, and I for one will be sad when this adventure ends, as the year of GASS has been, frankly, magic.