Plan9 Music

The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed [PA]
Artist: Wildhearts
Format: CD
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America hardly batted an eye over this group's colossal meltdown and break-up in the mid-90s, just as we have shed no tears over missing 30 years worth of Status Quo records; what happens in Wembley stays in Wembley, after all. Despite its rather brilliant execution, 1993's decadent Earth Vs. the Wildhearts was deemed so gauche upon its arrival that it took another decade for the Wildhearts to cross the Atlantic again, by which time we missed approximately 15 line-up changes, three dozen public outcries over loutish behavior and scores of fawning notices in the British press. So the intended purpose of The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed as a reunion record has been lost in translation, even if it has accrued new meaning as the latest in a seemingly endless line of European imports reacquainting America with the joy of the big dumb rock song.


At least The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed meets with the Justin Hawkins seal of approval: "Only Love" is a bit of ear candy with sweeping gospel-style harmonies that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Permission to Land, and Hawkins himself lends his castrato vocals to the hard-rockin' "Get Your Groove On." What's weird about the record, though, is how straightforward the group's take on stadium-rock sounds now that they've pushed past Motorhead idolatry towards Cheap Trickery. Save a few choice lines ("I like that you've got bigger balls than almost all of the Special Forces"), it's a steady diet of soaring choruses and sweet-sounding guitar solos. America demands more irony.


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