G * A * S * S Mark II or Ginger Associated Secret Society was formed by Ginger Wildheart for fans a few years ago. He would write three songs a month for a year that they had access to and then choose the best of them for a general CD release at the end of the year. This is the second one and has just been remastered and released via Round Records.
I’ve been a fan myself for many many years and his songwriting style has no boundaries, tapping into any genre and that is certainly apt here for these thirteen gems. Kicking off with a blink and you’ll miss it ‘Friends Of Bill’ it’s a turbocharged thrash out of riffs that could knock out the front rows played live. Haunting melodies in ‘King Rat’ lap at your ears like waves on the shoreline with tinges of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ cropping up. As if the intro riff to ‘That’s A Nasty Habit You’ve Got There’ doesn’t give you a stupid grin, Gingers vocal will melt your heart. It’s an early album highlight that had me transfixed from start to finish.
‘Caer Urfa’ is the historical name of Gingers home town of South Shields and this slice of whimsical 1970’s tinged glam rock sees him bring up his childhood memories. Swirling psychedelia slugs it out toe to toe with the grinding riffing for ‘Alvardo On The 2’. ‘Right In The Feels’ is a melodic power surge of hypnotic grooves and laid back vocals. Things heavy up as a guest lung busting lead vocal from Yolanda Quartey add muscle to the grungy vibes in ‘Petite Mort’. Prior to listening to ‘Waves Of Sadness’, move the furniture out of the way, grab your air guitar and throw some rock star shapes to this thrilling rush of power pop.
‘Adrenalina’ lives up to its title purely for the bombastic instrumental first minute as it heads off into punk rock territory. Even by Gingers standards ‘Bloody Knees’ is absolutely bonkers as it lurches through a variety of moods with sugar coated vocals vying for attention with a multitude of dizzying time changes. The nine minute epic ‘Don’t Lose Your Tail Girl’ whizzes by on a soothing intro, electro pop, bleak riffing, a distorted vocal midsection and a return of the heavy riffing to blast it out to a close. Would it be wrong to say ‘Don’t Stop Loving The Music’ sounds like a heavier Bay City Rollers? It’s a short, sharp sunshine bringing slice of melodic rock, no more, no less.
The album ends on a glorious high as Gingers knack of penning those heavy but catchy riffs will have you headbanging and hollering out the chorus to ‘I’ll Have Another’, a full on drinking song.