Influential Albums – Earth vs The Wildhearts

Earth vs. The Wildhearts

Disgusting cover, amazing music.

Thick and chunky guitars, sweet Beach Boys style harmonies, punk rock attitude, and a sense of humor?  It’s like The Wildhearts said, “Let’s write an album for Phil.”

The Wildhearts are not a super well known band here in the US, but in the UK they’ve developed a devoted fanbase over the last 20 years despite the on again-off again relationships of the band members.  Earth Vs the Wildheartswas their debut release in 1993 and it hasn’t left my playlist since.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see them live.  They don’t hit the west coast that often.  Years ago they were opening for AC/DC and had to cancel for some reason.  Blessing in disguise those as our good friends in the Alley Boys got to finish out that tour.  There’s a story for another day…

Greetings From Shitsville – As a young male, there’s so much about this so to be attracted to.  Foul language right in the title? Check. A sense of “this place sucks, I should be somewhere else” in the lyrics?  Check.

TV Tan – If “Greetings From Shitsville” is about wanting to be in a better place, this is the exact opposite.  That feeling on just not giving a crap and wanting to be entertained by whatever’s on the tube.  If it were written now, it might be “Cell Phone Tan”.

Everlone – From a composition standpoint, this is my first favorite track on the album.  Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys always had this idea of the “pocket symphony”. Ie. a pop song that goes through different movements like a symphony.  Mr. Wilson did it in 3 and a half minutes.  “Everlone” takes 6 and a half, but is still amazing.  If the Beach Boys played Les Pauls through Marshall amps, this is what they might have sounded like.  This song was a big influence on songs of mine like “Rumpalicious Booty Shaker”.

Shame On Me – The twisting, offset guitar parts in the intro and verse of this always catch my attention and make me think, “I gotta try something like that”. And then about two minutes in they slide out of the pop harmonies into a riff worthy of Slayer.  Awesome.

Loveshit – In case you ever wondered where my very literal sense of humor came from, this is it.  Strip away the euphemisms and call it what it is.

The Miles Away Girl – This is a just a great rock song, no doubt about it.  In an era of artists posting and explaining their every move, I still have no idea exactly what this song is about 20 years later.  It’s about an interesting chick. But this song still holds plenty of mystery.  Rarely does that get to be part of my own songwriting. 🙂

My Baby Is A Headfuck – Here’s the literal sense of humor again.  There’s a great punk energy to this song and it’s not complex by any means.  But it certainly gets the point across.  My own song “Lying Cheating Whore” is a direct descendant of this song.

Suckerpunch – This is the first song I ever heard from the Wildhearts when MTv spun a very few times in 1993.  The muted guitar stuff in the verse just bowled me over and then the sunny pop harmonies on the chorus threw me for a loop.  I’ve often used this song to get hyped up for shows.

News Of The World – Every band needs a good “the world kinda sucks now” song.  And this is theirs.  The lyrics “Pseudo-heroes masturbating our egos…” wouldn’t be too out of place these days, right?

Drinking About Life – As much as I like this song, I think it’s my least favorite song on the album.  Something about the arrangement doesn’t hold up this late into the album.  But when it pops up in shuffle mode I’m all over it.

Love You Til I Don’t – There’s that “call it what it is” humor again!  You have to love a band that takes 1:53 to get to the chorus.  Take that radio!

Caffeine Bomb – This was a bonus track that I had on my old cassette version, but seems to be missing from my CD version.  Need to go find that.  The song sounds exactly like the title suggests.

Any album that still holds up as relevant (and doesn’t sound dated) after 20 years is worth a listen.  You should do so. 🙂 Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this album on either MOG or Spotify.  Many of their other albums are there.  So get yourself a copy off Amazon.  You won’t regret it.

 

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