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Wildhearts | Must Be Destroyed | review | rock | Lollipop

The Wildhearts

Must Be Destroyed (Gut)
by Brian Varney

Though I've heard the name before, Must Be Destroyed is actually my first exposure to The Wildhearts. I sometimes have trouble conjuring comparisons for bands I know nothing about, but not this one. There's a whole lot here that puts me in mind of the last two Backyard Babies albums, the ones where they backed off the action-rock thing a bit and dipped back into the glam metal roots that were on display on their 1994 debut, Diesel & Power. What you'll hear on those records as well as this one is a deep and abiding appreciation for the hook-riddled glammy preening of pre-suck Mötley Crüe and Hanoi Rocks or, if you wanna go straight to the source, Slade and Sweet. Though I don't particularly like Hanoi Rocks, the other three bands are A-OK with me, so somebody definitely made a good choice when they sent this one my way. There are moments like "Someone That Won't Let Me Go" and "One Love, One Life, One Girl" where the shine and studio polish overwhelm the song's rock quotient, filing away a few too many rough edges and gritty patches to the point where the band treads dangerously close to Poison/Warrant/insert-bad-poodle-band-name-here territory, but the songs are uniformly strong, so even these cases are ultimately forgivable, especially when they're surrounded by deliriously memorable juggernauts like "Nexus Icon" and especially "Vanilla Radio," which sounds like Cheap Trick trying to play hair metal and succeeding wildly. These two songs alone make the whole shebang worthwhile, but realistically about six-to-seven of the 11 songs are winners, which means that if The Wildhearts were playin' baseball, they'd be the all-time supreme batting champs, better than Ted Williams. And what man in his right mind would say no to anything that's better than Teddy Ballgame?


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