If you’re a regular reader of my posts you may be getting a sense of deja vu going by the title of this as, a few months ago, I posted a review of the original and subsequently deleted version of Hey! Hello! Too! just before it was pulled from Ginger Wildhearts’ latest Pledgemusic campaign following the shock departure of lead vocalist Hollis from the band.
Following her departure the band auditioned a host of potential new vocalists and this version of Hey! Hello! Too! (which is more than just a straight re-release with different vocals) features a selection of those performers; Emily Lee, Givvi Flynn, Cat Southall, Laila K, Eloise Kerry, Vicky Jackson and Christina Maynard along with the band Ginger assembled previously Ai (drums), Toshi (bass), The Rev (guitar) and of course Mr. Wildheart himself (guitar and vocals).
From the off its clear this is a different album from that lost version and that the band have continued to develop so while the storming pop rock that marked Hey! Hello!’s debut remains this is a very different beast.
Throughout the album has a sheen of pop production that really suits Ginger’s songs and the band’s performance while excellently counterpointing the more punky and metallic edges that always come through in his writing.
As has become commonplace in Ginger’s work the topics vary wildly but are always delivered with hooks galore and plenty of sing-a-long, bounce-a-long power and the album’s highlights all combine these aspects excellently.
Glass of Champagne, Kids, Loud And Fucking Clear and Let’s Get Emotional are instant standouts but the whole record has the feel that they could all become live favourites and reveal greater depths with more listens.
The final three tracks on the record have something of a slightly different feel with Body Parts (originally recorded for the Albion solo album) coming with Japanese lyrics from, I assume, Toshi and Ai while being none-the-less catchy for it and showing the multi-talented nature of this pan-continental quartet.
Meanwhile its hard not to listen to A History of Lovers and (particularly) Perfect without getting hints that these may, whether intentionally or not, be related to Hey! Hello!’s so far tempestuous relationship with female lead singers, though I won’t speculate on the whys and wherefores knowing just the public history its hard not to associate the two.
In the end Hey! Hello! Too! is a set of 11 great songs with a few that stand out above the pack, even if, as an album, it doesn’t quite hang together as a whole – but that’s a small criticism as every time one of these comes up on shuffle it will be hard to skip and all of them just make me want to see this band live again and bounce and shout along as the lyrics are already worming their way into my head.