Ginger swings from rock genius to self-indulgent pledge monster, crafting some of the finest tunes the UK has tasted in the last 25 years or so, but seemingly a social media time bomb primed to explode. Either way, whenever I’ve met him he’s been a totally nice guy so in I guess that’s just the internet for you…
Kicking off with the low key “May The Restless Find Peace”, I can’t quite place the songs it reminds me of but it’s a nice downer of a tune much greater than the sum of its parts.
On to “Why Aye (Oh You)”. I could be facetious and say this is pound shop Jimmy Nail or I could be constructive and compare it to Del Amitri. You decide.
The album carries on in a similar vein. I guess the slide guitar gives it a country kind of vibe. You could say it’s a companion piece to 2018’s previous outing “Ghost in the Tangle Wood” It certainly sounds like an extension of that acoustic driven folky introspective sound.
Along with the aforementioned “May The Restless Find Peace”, “Better Love” is another standout track. To my ears it has a Crowded House feel, with perhaps a bit like Billy Bragg’s “Don’t Try This At Home” era. A great tune none-the-less.
The title track “The Pessimist’s Companion” has a bit more going on but remains on the “sounding up but feeling down” theme.
Like many of the tunes found here, “Sweet Wanderlust” and “In Reverse” feel like sketches of classic (Wildhearts) tunes, proving without a doubt that below the self-destruction is a great songwriter trying to find his way out of a chaotic mind.
Last up is the dark and desperate “There Is A House”. Another stand out tune and certainly one you’ll want to skip back to once the album ends.
Ultimately, if you’re a paid-up disciple of Ginger’s gang you’re gonna love this album. whatever I or anyone else thinks about it and more power to you.
Author: Fraser Munro