CJ Wildheart – Blood


F**king angry…

Released through Devilspit Records on 20 October 2017

Review by Ian Savage 

You know how the Thatcher / Reagan era is pretty much remembered as a complete bag of shit for anyone not in the top ten percent, but how we still appreciate the vitriolic auditory kickback from the likes of The Clash, Dead Kennedys and the hundreds of other guitar-armed politically-charged warrior poets?

That’s how our kids will hopefully look back on the rock music made in the current era of far-right normalisation, economic inequality and social division. If there’s anything to be said for the Brexit / Trump times we live in, it’s that it’s producing some fantastically angry stuff even from artists not necessarily known for it.

CJ Wildheart’s solo albums have previously been used (by this reviewer here, among others) to cast him as the poppy counterweight to bandmate Ginger’s more metallic tendencies. With Blood… well, he’s made this his own, and he’s fucking angry.

While previous outings (particularly with the criminally-overlooked HoneyCrack) might have had sugar-coated political insinuations, Blood goes straight for the jugular. From rhythmically jerky opener ’Tea Leaf’…okay, there’s highlights that can’t be done justice in a single paragraph.

The punk/metal thrash-out of ‘Lazybones’ (possibly the best morning alarm song ever written). The tragically-almost-certainly-autobiographical ‘Fifty Percent Indian’ (“hey skinhead… I don’t have no money, I don’t smell of curry, I’ll tell you what I am…”). The hopefully-not-autobiographical ‘Tired of Sex’. The familiar-to-any-Wildhearts-fan ‘Kiss It’, demonstrating to fans that Ginger doesn’t have the monopoly on double-kick-drum and heavy-as-shit guitar rhythms.

It’s not a perfect album by any means: there’s times when the production becomes just a little too artificial and takes you out of the experience, and there’s a melody or two that’re a tiny bit too obvious. That said, as a founding member of the UK’s most degenerative rock band – it’s good to have CJ back, and it’s even better to have him angry.

CJ Wildheart – BloodTrack listing:

  1. Tea Leaf
  2. Gutless
  3. Lazybones
  4. Beak
  5. 50 Percent Indian
  6. Tired Of Sex
  7. Kiss It
  8. Plastic Invasion
  9. Itch
  10. Lost In The Game