What is this?
And what’s it like?
Billed as ‘noisy pop’, Hey! Hello! is bursting to the seems with sing along choruses and swaggering verses. The golden sunshine approach is never over-saturated and is satisfyingly grounded by the crunch of rock fuelled chords. Whilst pop as a genre can be somewhat dismissed as vapid, or somehow ‘lesser’ than other, more highbrow, genres, Ginger and Liedtke infuse every note with an integrity that broadcasts one message on endless loop: it’s ok, you can enjoy this. Indeed, ‘Feral Days’ is a joyous blast of powerful riffs, thumping drums and vocals like a clear blue sky of gorgeousness. The chorus bounces with infectious energy in the refrain of, “Hey! It’s ok! Not all days can be beautiful days!”
Lyrically Hey! Hello! offers wave after wave of positivity, reassuring the listener that although life can, in indeed will, suck – you can rise above it. However, don’t confuse this with some happy clappy message of nonsense; in tracks like ‘How I Survived The Punk Wars’, Ginger lambasts both the recording industry and artists with an unjustified feeling of entitlement. “I get people saying, ‘Well it’s alright for you to get fans to fund your albums, but what do I do if I haven’t got fans?’ to which I reply, ‘Well, you’ve still got to work hard and get off your backside!’”. Despite the glorious pop sensibilities of Hey! Hello! Ginger’s wry sardonic nature still stands strong.
It’s difficult to pick highlights in an album jam packed with hit after hit of short delicious explosions, but short sharp, ‘Swimwear’, big squeeze of love, ‘Burn The Rule Book (F*** It) and huge crowd stadium resonator, ‘Lock For Rock (And Other Sporting Clichés) deliver a triple whammy that may leave you with a permanent grin glued on your face. Leidtke’s voice is a perfect accompaniment to Ginger’s occasional rough edges, alternating between harmonising beautifully one moment or whipping out a punky lead verse to add another superb element to proceedings. It all works with such amazing clarity that, if there was any justice, pop as a genre would raise its game in order to get anywhere near competing.
What’s the tracklisting
1. Black Valentine
2. Feral Days
3. Why Can’t I Be Me Without You
5. Burn The Rule Book (F*** It)
6. Lock For Rock (And Other Sporting Clichés)
7. The Thrill Of It All
8. How I Survived The Punk Wars
9. I’m Gonna Kiss You Like I’m Going Away
10. We’re Outta Here
Can you watch anything now?
‘How I Survived The Punk Wars’ taken from Hey! Hello!
What’s the final verdict?
Perennially under exposed to mass audiences, Ginger has been at this music biz thing for over twenty years now and has an extremely loyal fan base, allowing him to essentially do whatever he likes. Luckily, what he likes to do is function as a cornucopia of consistently jaw dropping music. However, loyalty is not a pre-requisite to Hey! Hello!. The concentrated joy emanating from every single note cannot fail to invigorate the soul. Birds will sing sweeter. The air will seem crisper. Life will seem better. Indeed, by supporting people like Ginger, life can only get better for music.
Words by Michael Record