(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Wildhearts: Earth Vs The Wildhearts , 6/10
Wildhearts: P.H.U.Q. , 6/10
Wildhearts: Fishing For Luckies, 6/10
Wildhearts: Endless Nameless , 6/10
Wildhearts: Riff After Riff (2004), 6/10
Yo-Yo's: Uppers And Downers , 6/10

At the peak of the Brit-pop fad, there was a school of "mod-rockers" that followed in the footsteps of the Jam. Turning up the amp and speeding up the tempo, they revived the wild rock and roll of the Who, albeit with a Brit-pop spin that made it appealing to the charts. The Wildhearts, led by vocalist and songwriter David "Ginger" Walls and featuring bassist Danny McCormack, were among the most energetic and blasphemous of the pack. Greetings From Shitville led the debut album Earth Vs The Wildhearts (East West, 1993). The brisk melodies of Caffeine Bomb, Georgie In A Wonderland and especially I Wanna Go Where The People Go, from the sophomore P.H.U.Q. (1995), established them among the few angry young men of Brit-pop.

Fishing For Luckies (Round, 1996), featuring new guitarist Jeff Streatfield, is equally wild and irreverent, with standout tracks like Sick Of Drugs, but the songs that were not included in the album (due to an argument with the label) and instead released as singles, If Life Is LIke A Love Bank and Geordie In Wonderland, are the ones that would have made it worth the money. Inglorious, Schitzophonic, Do The Channel Bop and Sky Babies indulge in lengthy showcases of heavy-metal jamming that has only one problem: it is terribly derivative of every hard-rock classic from AC/DC to Metallica.

Endless Nameless (Mushroom, 1997) was a swansong of sorts, a loud and distorted album that often sounds like a cross between Sonic Youth and Ministry (Junkenstein, Pissjoy, Thunderfuck). The band had just turned serious when they dissolved.

McCormack hooked up with guitarists Tom Spencer and Neil Phillips and formed the Yo-Yo's, who debuted with the singles Out of My Mind (Rebound) and Rumble (Rebound) and the album Uppers And Downers (Subpop, 2000). When magazines like Kerrang and Melody Maker announce a "next big thing", we already know that we are going to get some lame, derivative, second-rate, radio-friendly pop from a band whose name will be forgotten in a matter of months. The Yo-Yo's may fare better than their predecessor, because their songs spin madly like in the best rock and roll tradition. No MC5s and no Stooges here, as Yo-Yo's focus is on catchy tunes and not on barricades of distorted guitars. 1000 Miles and Head Over Heels administer doses of a loud and noisy, but ultimately innocuous, power-pop. The band has crafted its own sound, at the same time raw and melodic, but their debt to the classics is obvious in the mid-tempo Who rockers (Champagne And Nakedness) and the Rolling Stones and Faces fanfares (Out Of My Mind) that punctuate the album. Where the band transcends its limits and its idols is in the wild romp of Rumble, in the anthemic choruses and uptempo beat of Hanging Up and Time Of Your Life, and especially in the glorious, frantic rave-up of Keepin' On Keepin' On.

The Wildhearts returned with Riff After Riff (Gearhead, 2004), which was as good as the early ones, but the British press had already moved on to other "next big things"

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Walter Consonni)

All'apice dell'entusiasmo per il Brit-pop, c'era una scuola di "mod-rockers" che seguiva le orme dei Jam. Alzando il volume dell'amplificazione ed accelerando i ritmi, erano in grado di far rivivere il rock and roll selvaggio degli Who, per quanto con un influsso Brit-pop che lo rendeva adatto alle classifiche di vendita. I Wildhearts, guidati dal bassista e cantante Danny McCormack, erano tra i più energetici ed irriverenti del mucchio. Greetings >From Shitville ha trainato l'album d'esordio Earth Vs The Wildhearts (East West, 1993). Le melodie frizzanti Caffeine Bomb, Georgie In A Wonderland e soprattutto I Wanna Go Where The People Go, dal successivo P.H.U.Q. (1995), hanno permesso di annoverarli tra i pochi veri angry young men del Brit-pop. Endless Nameless (Mushroom, 1997) è stato un mediocre canto del cigno, un album fragoroso e distorto che spesso suona come una via di mezzo tra Sonic Youth ed i Ministry (Junkenstein, Pissjoy, Thunderfuck). Appena la band si è presa troppo sul serio ha finito con lo sciogliersi.

McCormack ha coinvolto i chitarristi Tom Spencer e Neil Phillips e ha formato gli Yo-Yo's, che hanno esordito con i singoli Out of My Mind (Rebound) e Rumble (Rebound) e con l'album Uppers And Downers (Subpop, 2000). Nel momento in cui riviste come Kerrang e Melody Maker annunciano una "next big thing", sappiamo già che stiamo andando incontro ad un pop radiofonico convenzionale, non originale e di seconda mano proposto da una band il cui nome sarà dimenticato nel giro di qualche mese. Gli Yo-Yo's possono funzionare meglio dei loro predecessori, grazie alle loro canzoni che si srotolano furiosamente secondo la migliore tradizione del rock and roll. Niente MC5s e Stooges qui, dato che gli Yo-Yo's si focalizzano su melodie orecchiabili piuttosto che su barriere di chitarre distorte. 1000 Miles e Head Over Heels somministrano dosi di fragore e di noisy, che in ultima analisi rappresentano solo un innocuo power-pop. La band ha plasmato il proprio sound, allo stesso tempo grezzo e melodico, ma il loro debito verso i classici è evidente nei mid-tempo rockers derivati dagli Who (Champagne And Nakedness) e nelle fanfare alla maniera dei Rolling Stones e dei Faces (Out Of My Mind) che ricorrono nell'album. La band trascende i propri limiti ed i propri idoli nel fragoroso scherzo di Rumble, nei cori antifonici e nei ritmi uptempo di Hanging Up e Time Of Your Life, e soprattutto nello splendido e frenetico rave-up di Keepin' On Keepin' On.

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