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The Wildhearts - 'Fishing For Luckies' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2e/b7/d8/1050_the-wildhearts-fishing-for.luckies_1299009582.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 01, 2011    
 
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Another splendid release.

The trials and tribulations that befell The Wildhearts second album 'Fishing For Luckies' perfectly encapsulate the chaos and lack of managerial direction that so many of the bands mistakes can be put down to. Originally intended as a 1994 fan club only release, (although the songs were meant to be part of a double album with the songs from 'P.H.U.Q.', an idea the record company rejected) 'Fishing For Luckies' saw the band really stretch out into what can almost be described as progressive metal/rock/punk/pop, with four tracks clocking in at over seven minutes and one of the other two being a folked up tip of the hat to life in The North. To confuse matters The Wildhearts record company of the time East West had other ideas when the band's second full album 'P.H.U.Q.' made a hefty impact on the charts, and (against the band's wishes) re-released 'FFL' as 'Fishing For More Luckies' in 1995 with three extra tracks. That version was quickly pulled from the shelves, but a year later the confusion was compounded further with a third version of the album simply titles 'Fishing For Luckies' appearing with yet another change of track listing and let's not go into the fact that the vinyl version adds even more songs!

Disappointingly Lemon Recordings have chosen not to try and finally group all of these songs together with this reissue, but in fairness they have included all of the tracks from the original fan club release with the two stand alone singles - the wonderful 'Sick Of Drugs' and 'Red Light, Green Light'. Also on disc one come four further songs that did make some versions of 'Fishing For...' releases, 'Soul Searching On Planet Earth (Different Kind Of Love), 'Mood Swings And Roundabouts', 'In Like Flynn' and 'Nite Songs'. Of the initial six songs to make the fan release, 'Inglorious' is an audacious and sprawling mixture of mad riffs and harmony vocals that really sums exactly what this band are all about, while the short sharp blast of 'If Life Is Like A Lovebank I Want An Overdarft' proves that a song can still be challenging and jumping even when the chorus is king. 'Schizophonic' lives up to its name by leaping from catchy clean guitars to massive slabs of riffs and back again like a mind boggling pendulum, before 'Channel Bop' extols the virtues of finger flicking on the sofa with the type of raucous, yet smart meter changes and tempo shifts that show what a talented bunch of musicians The Wildhearts always have been (something that is all too often forgotten). Lastly comes the pairing of squeeze box and acoustic guitar that make up the bass drum thumping folk track 'Geordie In Wonderland', which was the subject of a rather bizarre rendition on 'Top Of The Pops', and my own personal favourite 'Sky Babies' which once again flits between massive hammer strikes of guitar and slower break outs that show the more (power) pop side of the band.

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As with all four of these reissues from Lemon, there is a bonus disc of b'sides and extras, although two of the songs this time 'Caffeine Bomb' and 'Suckerpunch' are also available on 'Earth Vs...'. That said the rest of the songs are far from being throwaway with the marvellously titled 'Shut Your Fucking Mouth And Use Your Fucking Brain', 'Hate The World Day' and '29xThe Pain' (the latter of which has become a live anthem for the band) once more being the equal of anything this band have committed to an album. 'Fishing For Luckies' in all of its guises is another perfect example of why The Wildhearts should be a (broad minded) household name and is another splendid release.

Steven Reid

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