“Hang on”, I hear you cry, “Kim Wilde? Isn’t that a bit… pop?” And you may be right, but wait until you get into the review for more details. After all, this is a woman who is – at least in part – responsible for this site actually existing.
No “Kids in America” may have meant an early end for Lawnmower Deth. Sadly, they continued, much to the disappointment of the music community. As such, I got talking to one Sean Merrigan on their facebook page a few years ago. A conversation that resulted in me meeting James Costin, and registering this domain name, and gathering more Crew members, and… you get the picture. So Ms Wilde is metal, in my book, or at least “guilt” (sic) by association.
The fact that she’s since gone on to perform the aforementioned track live with Lawnmower Deth and record a Christmas single with them proves that she’s not a one-trick pop pony, rather someone who’s open to trying new things. With Here Come The Aliens, her first full album of original material released in the UK since 1995 if you can believe that, she proves it even more.
Opener “1969” is basically the title track with the chorus referencing the album name. Honestly, if this isn’t a rock track then I don’t know what is. Pounding drums, solid rhythm guitars, great backing rhythms… honestly, Halestorm could have written this and just let Kim guest on vocals while Lzzy concentrated on the guitar.
“Pop Don’t Stop” is the one that’s been teased on Kim’s YouTube channel (and released on her VEVO channel – check it below), and it’s definitely a lighter number (with a keyboard intro that brings back memories of “Video Killed The Radio Star”‘s own introduction). While it’s very much a love song devoted to the music that is pop, coupled with a driving rhythm and catchy chorus, this doesn’t make it anything you should feel guilty about listening to. There are pop-rock and pop-punk tracks out there that are every bit as commercial. This one has Eurovision all over it – why do we always submit crap for this competition when there’s material like this around?
OK, so we’ve established that Here Come The Aliens is more “pop-rock” and that by listening to it you don’t risk having all the patches removed from your battle jacket as you should if you were caught sneaking a listen to, say, the Spice Girls. So what are the rest of the tracks like?
Well, basically, they’re damn good. In honesty, I was expecting something a bit more 80s, but what we have is a very modern album. I’m assuming the rockier feel is down to the work of one Mr Wilde, Kim’s brother. Ricky shreds a guitar in a manner that lends rock credibility to each and every song, such as “Kandy Krush” which comes across almost as a piece of J-Rock with its near nerdy title reference.
“Solstice” starts off as the first track I thought I wouldn’t like as it’s so soft… but after a listen I was hugely impressed by this number which gives Kim a chance to really show off her voice with the backing music flowing more below than around her. A cracking ballad. “Cyber Nation War” is never going to have Fear Factory quaking in their boots over the industrial competition, but once more shows that the Wilde family aren’t aiming to appease those with their musical tastes firmly entrenched in a (wonderful) period running ‘twixt 1980 and 1989.
Another corker is “Rock The Paradiso” which, if it were played in a venue with that name, would surely live up to its title. The album ends of the surprisingly gentle and ethereal “Rosetta”, a slightly odd choice – I’d have gone for one of the bouncier numbers to encourage a repeat listen, but it didn’t put me off flipping back to track one several times. It’s not a bad song by any means, just not where I’d have put it in the running order.
So despite half this review coming across like me justifying its inclusion on these pages, I’m hoping that the other half has made you think “hey, ok – I’ll give it a shot” – because you should. OK, so if your CD shelf is 99% extreme and death metal, with the lightest album being Scream Bloody Gore, then it’s not going to be for you. But if you like the more mainstream rock acts then you could be surprised by this 1980s pop queen’s newest outing.
Upcoming March / April tour dates can be found by scrolling down, too.
Here Come The Aliens is out on March 16th
Header image (c) Will Tudor
- 30th Fri – Ipswich Regent Theatre
- 31st Sat – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
- 2nd Mon – Glasgow Old Fruit Market
- 4th Wed – Bath The Forum
- 5th Thu – Torquay Princess Theatre
- 6th Fri – Yeovil Westlands
- 7th Sat -Bournemouth The Pavilion Theatre
- 11th Wed – Wrexham William Aston Hall
- 12th Thu – Preston The Guildhall
- 13th Fri – Sheffield Plug
- 15th Sun – York Barbican
- 16th Mon – Gateshead The Sage
- 19th Thu – Halifax The Victoria Theatre
- 20th Fri – Buxton Opera House
- 21st Sat – Birmingham Town Hall
- 22nd Sun – Salisbury City Hall
- 24th Tue – Hastings The White Rock Theatre
- 26th Thu – London Koko
- 30th Mon – Salford The Lowry