Two years on from the splendid Mable, CJ Wildheart has fired up his riff generator and tune dispenser again. It’s hard not to be distracted by the latest skull-incinerating condiment from the great man’s range of hot sauces, but Robot is every bit as likely to singe your face.
In true Wildheartian tradition, these are big, bolshy songs with infectious hooks and giant, sharp-elbowed riffs, every last one of them underpinned by thick wads of punk-rock snottiness and refined pop sensibilities.
In fact, it’s worth noting that CJ writes far better catchy punk songs than any pop-punk band: Ctrl-Alt-Delete is all Cheap Trick harmonies, driving distortion and pub rock thud, while The Box has an endearing whiff of Weezer and Bob Mould about it, albeit underpinned by a dash of metallic oomph.
The diehards will lap this all up, of course – perhaps with a splash of CJ’s own Devilspit Extreme – but Robot deserves to reach a much wider audience.