Not content with issuing a 2019 album of the year contender in the shape of Renaissance Men, merely months later The Wildhearts are back with the Diagnosis mini album. Is this an afterthought? Don’t be silly. The band are red hot at the moment and seemingly nothing can stand in their way.
The self-titled track was showcased on the Renaissance Men album, but here, and rightly so, it gets the headline status it deserves. Ginger Wildheart’s mental health history has been well documented on social media and in print with the likes of Classic Rock, etc. Speaking as someone with bipolar (or manic depression in old money), Diagnosis spoke to me in a way no other song has done in recent times. Having been the product of a criminally underfunded system, I get it… fucking ten fold. The Wildhearts are a band that refuse to shy away from opening up the conversation on mental health issues and all caps must be doffed to Ginger and co. Personally, I’m sick of stigma, sick of ignorance and sick of drugs (see what I did there?). The Wildhearts are speaking for all those who are struggling and I cannot thank them enough.
This review could end there as in one, albeit previously aired, solitary track, the band have wiped the floor with any Britrock competition. As the mini album unfolds with five newbies, as always they squeeze more riffs into one song than most bands manage in a whole album. Makes you other songwriters sick, doesn’t it? “I know I got to be a better person to survive” is the call on the CJ penned God Damn, and it’s more affirmative nods from this scribe. Next up is A Song About Drinking and the caffeine bombs are swapped for Jäger bombs. Hic!
I have it on very good authority that Danny McCormack had the chorus for The First Time knocking around for quite some time. Well, it was worth the wait. Ritch Battersby gets out his quill for That’s My Girl, but don’t dismiss this as a Ringo Starr moment as the track will rock your socks off. Let’s just say that the chorus refrain will be stuck in your head for days, or is that weeks? That just leaves mini album closer LOLAC; an awesome hark back to the noise rock that was Endless Nameless. Simply stunning.
Superlative over superlative could be thrown the foursome’s way. I mean, is there a band more vital than The Wildhearts at this moment in time? I think not. Legends is an overused term in the modern world, but it’s a term that holds true for The Wildhearts. All hail the finest British rock ‘n’ roll band of their generation.
Footnote: Whether you have a diagnosis or not, stay safe and keep talking to one another, people. Ginge Knievil
Grab your copy of Diagnosis here