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Ginger Wildheart: Albion

Geordie rocker’s seventh album in two years. Yes, really.

Having jumped into missions with Michael Monroe, extreme project the Mutation collective and Hey! Hello! with minimal breathing space, will this latest Ginger release collapse out into the world – the mark of someone who’s ready for a stiff drink and a very long nap?

Amazingly, no. Albion is a delight, merging classic-sounding, dreamy qualities with spine-tingling harmonies and pop guitar joie de vivre. It’s all laced with heavy-grooving hard-rock sensibilities, thoughtfully composed tunes and progressions, plus sublime harmonic shifts. That’s all balanced with roughened, heavy riffs and vocals on the likes of Cambria and the fabulous, sprawling title track.

Not that you sense Ginger would have any problem with ‘pop’ tags – those aforementioned harmonies are very poppy, and the 90s-tinged bounce of Body Parts and others reflects the inclusion of someone like Chris Catalyst (of pop-rockers Eureka Machines) in the GW band. As do self-aware but sparky, good-humoured lyrics (‘Everybody grow a pair!’ they cheerfully quip on Grow A Pair).

A joyous, successfully eclectic rock treat with edge and soul.

Polly Glass

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.