Summer. A time for barbecues, baseball, hanging with good friends and family. And the right music is absolutely essential for all of the above. Now I’ve already mentioned in previous reviews that the Goo Goo Dolls’ Magnetic and Sick Puppies’ Connect albums were near-perfect summertime listens, especially while driving. Well, it’s time to add a third disc to that mix: Hey! Hello!
Hey! Hello! is U.S. vocalist Victoria Liedtke and U.K. multi-instrumentalist Ginger Wildheart (The Wildhearts), and it has to be the most delicious piece of ear candy to come out in a while. The ten song opus, produced by Russ Russell (The Exploited, Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir), features a slew of up-tempo, pop-party rockers including the album opener “Black Valentine”, which you’ll have to repeat at least three times before you can move on to the next song. Perfect driving song, I’m tellin’ ya!
“Feral Days” is another tasty dish reminiscent of Cheap Trick meets Fountains of Wayne, and goes down smooth. “Why Can’t I Be Me Without You?” will take listeners back to the late 90’s with its fuzzy guitar tones and layered harmonies. Ginger and Victoria really sound great together, and it’s obvious they had fun making these songs.
The undisputed champ of this record and feel-good-hit-of-the-summer is lead single “Swimwear”.
I defy any of you to not be singing this one for several days after hearing it.This one also gets played minimum three times before moving on. In fact, when I first played it in my car, I circled the block twice just to finish it before I pulled into my driveway.
“Burn The Rule Book (Fuck It)” is a pretty little ditty that changes the tempo a bit, but doesn’t lose any of its fun vibe. “Lock For Rock (And Other Sporting Cliches)”, with its “Whoa-oh-oh” on the refrains is downright infectious, and the lyrics are quite funny at times. There’s a bit of The Knack in the beginning of “The Thrill of It All” before the song really takes off on its own and Victoria’s voice is very soothing with Ginger singing under her on the verses before the harmonies on the hooks. Well done!
“How I Survived the Punk Wars” is mostly Ginger’s song with him singing/speaking rapidly over a rock riff, “I’m Gonna Kiss You Like I’m Going Away” is another bit of sugary sweetness that’ll cause toothaches, and the album ends fittingly with “We’re Outta Here”, a pure pop-rock anthem. It sounds like they’re about to blast off into space, and you can’t help but want to go with them just to keep the party going! This record should be required backyard barbecue listening by law. So much fun!
STANDOUT TRACKS: All of them