Album Reviews

CJ Wildheart – MABLE Review


Genre: Hard Rock

Label: Independent

Release: Out Now!



Having watched from the sidelines whilst fellow Wildheart Ginger has managed to deliver three successful Pledge Music campaigns to an adoring public followed by his current G.A.S.S. project, CJ Wildheart finally decides to take the plunge and via Pledge, offers an album of amped up rock music, inspired by his favourite chicken ‘Mable’. In a recent interview with Myglobalmind (CLICK HERE TO READ IT), CJ threatened to release an album full of tracks with chicken references. Did he follow through on this? Well let’s see….

Opening with a sound that reminds you of classic Who experimentation on ‘Baba O’Riley’ with synthesisers, ‘Better Late Than Never’ then launches into what some could  describe a classic Wildhearts with a chorus to die for and sing along to and an underlying guitar riff that sticks in the mind long after the song has finished. ‘Down the Drain’ is the first single and video from the album and shows a different , grittier side to CJ’s writing style and is a natural fit for late night rock club play lists. It sits as easily with Nine Inch Nails as much as it does with tracks from the Foo Fighters.

As the lead guitarist with The Wildhearts, it’s not surprising that the riffs and hooks are at the front of the mix and this is no more apparent than on ‘Next To You’ which makes you appreciate the influence he actually had on his “former” band’s music over the years. It shows how in sync with each other CJ and Ginger must have been as the track would comfortably sit on anything Ginger has released as a solo album over the last few years or indeed albums like ‘PHUQ’ or ‘The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed’.

The keyboard stylings of bands from the 60’s like The Animals, The Doors or even modern takes on that style of music with The Charlatans pervade during the intro of ‘Vitriol’ before the main verse brings to mind elements of the punkier side of The Jam and Paul Weller at his finest.

At only four tracks into the album, one thing does become apparent and that’s CJ’s ability to change his vocal style and range on each song as no two tunes so far sound the same and that’s definitely down to what he has been able to achieve with his voice. With its’ Mario Brothers esqe intro, ‘Always Believe Her’ shows that CJ is willing to take a few risks and even uses some effects on his voice to yet again draw a different sound out of the mix to the willing listener before dropping into the classic 4/4 beat to deliver a blistering rock track. Thankfully the “chicken referenced songs” threat seems to be a false one although we do get the Feeder like ‘Kentucky Fried’ which looks at the stresses of life and how you need to get your life back together by making the right decision and not being indecisive. The chorus is infectious and looks at how difficult it can be when your life is a mess..

“I’m bleeding from my gums, got the stress of a million sums, when I wake up there is no sun, go to bed smelling like a bum”.

‘DC’ shows real depth and imagination with CJ’s songwriting and presents one of the best tracks on the album. ‘Come With Me’ with its strong riff has, I swear, a young Joe Elliot singing lead vocal showing again how CJ can flex his voice to suit the sound and style of the track. There are certainly college rock, punk elements present throughout the album and they give the whole affair a unique feel that removes it sufficiently from past Wildhearts material to allow it to truly seem like CJ’s baby.

The guitar work and vocals on every track offer something different and keep the listener hooked and involved in the songs. Referencing his own hot sauce that was offered as part of the Pledge programme, ‘Devil’ showcases this superb divergent style in delivery and will go down a storm on US radio stations given the chance. A modern rock track that shows an artist very much in tune with current trends rather than an artist suffering a ‘Midlife Crisis’ and trying to capture the sound of old.

Thankfully the final track of the album addresses such fears and leaves us in no doubt that this could easily be the start of a new lease of life for Mr Wildheart.



SCORE 9/10

CJ Wildheart - Mable

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