The small consolation fans of The Wildhearts can take from their favourite band being such a volatile unit, is I suppose, the amount of fantastic music the resulting side projects have produced every time a member leaves or, as is the case right now, the band goes on an extended hiatus.

Honeycrack, The Yo-Yo’s, The Jellys, Jackdaw4, Mutation, Silver Ginger 5, Sorry & The Sinatras, the list of quality just goes on and on.

There is one band however, that rose from the ashes the first time The Wildhearts crashed and burned that completely passed me by at the time, and that band is Grand Theft Audio.

I’m not exactly sure why this was, as formed around the creative nucleus of Wildhearts drummer Ritch Battersby, producer Ralph Jezzard and Realtv and Vive Finito frontman Jay Butler, the band quickly signed to London Records for their debut album ‘Blame Everyone’ and then found themselves pretty much everywhere, touring the world whilst also featuring on various movie and video game soundtracks. Then, almost as quickly as they burst onto the scene they were gone, as their label dissolved and the band fell apart.

Its two decades on from that implosion with Ritch and Jay now back in the ring with their second album ‘Pass Me The Conch’ that I first get to hear them, and praise the Gods (of Rock) that I’ve finally discovered them.

Effortlessly merging elements of electronica with balls out arena rock Grand Theft Audio sound like a whirlwind of positivity in a world that once again seems to love wallowing in the negative. Inspiring tracks like the gothic ‘Ruin Your Youth’, the anthemic ’Bad Instinct’, and the monstrous ‘Bury The Day’ take the bottom end thrust of The Wildhearts and give it a 21st Century twist, full to bursting point with melody and catchier than Covid-19 in a world that is now seemingly devoid of any conscience for its continued spread.

Elsewhere, there’s the pop-tastic rock/rap lead single ‘The Gods of Rock’ that has me thinking of Manson at his finest (that’s Marilyn not Charlie) and album opener ‘Scrub Up’ could very easily have been a long-lost GUN track written at the height of their 90s MTV fame.

It’s the darker and more reflective electronic tracks like ‘Trevor’ and ‘The Load’ that are the flipside of the Grand Theft Audio dynamic, and for me, this is where they stand apart from being just another rock band.  It’s exhilarating and genre smashing stuff!  

‘Pass Me The Conch’ is Grand Theft Audio’s statement of intent, its them taking control of their musical destiny and throughout the record’s ten tracks it sounds like they are loving every second of it.

Released on the 2nd of September with a twelve date tour starting a week later to help promote the release of the record, Grand Theft Audio will be sharing stages across the UK with CJ Wildheart and Scott Sorry and some might even be so bold as to say that a world without The Wildhearts is actually a musically much richer place to live in. ‘Pass Me The Conch’ is a leader not a follower- check it out!

Website / Instagram / Bandcamp

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Ahead of this Friday’s release, Strange Units Scott got in touch to tell us all about the EP. For the first time since last Novembers release ‘Strange Unit’ and since COVID-19 hit the globe a lot has happened and after testing out new material during lockdown Scott takes up where the band are at…

“Nail, Meet Hammer” is the first track taken from the next full STRANGE UNIT album. Following the release of “STRANGE UNIT” in November 2019, I began working on new material that I was testing during the “LIVE from the STRANGE ROOM” live streams earlier this year.

I then had a hard-drive crash and lost a bunch of tunes. That was a fucking HUGE bummer and took a punt at sending my laptop to a data recovery specialist to get my stuff back.

In the meantime, I downloaded some free apps that some music production companies made available for free, and had to use them to get ideas down. Now, these apps were sequencing-type software – Developed for non-guitar based music. I struggled with getting to grips with them but had to get ideas down, and “Nail, Meet Hammer” was a result.

When I got the laptop back up and running, and transferred the idea into the realm of ‘rock’ it was perfectly formed, although a lot more succinct and direct than anything I’d written before.

I roped in Stuart Richardson* to mix as we have not worked together since Midasuno’s debut single, and had Dave Draper to master it (The Wildhearts, Mutation, Ryan Hamilton) as he is also great and super easy to work with.

What really changed things was wanting to get a video shot, so worked with a team of brilliant local (To me in Geelong, Australia) team who brought the track to life – And I finally got to finish a music video with my good friend Jeremy Belinfante (Who shot the currently unreleased video for MUTATION’s “Devolution” which has tonnes of green-screened DEVIN TOWNSEND (NOTE – WE WILL FINISH THE VIDEO ONE DAY)).

I then reached out to Jon-Lee Martin (Of KONG / THEN THICKENS fame) with the video, who jumped on the chance to smash out the wonderful artwork.

Dylan (Bass) and Lee (Drums) now round out the STRANGE UNIT trio and will be playing our first show as a band this September.

RE: B-sides on the EP.

TRASH FIRE: I did think at one point this was going to be a single, but it doesn’t reflect how nuts the next album is going to be.
WHAT’S YR TRUTH?: Another track that was written earlier this year that also veered off course from the new direction.
SCENTLESS APPRENTICE: After watching Post Malone doing that live stream, I had to have a crack myself. This is the first cover I think I have ever done where I have managed to get my mark/stink over.


FOLLOW: Bandcamp


Ginger Wildheart – solo artist and frontman of rockers The Wildhearts – has re-launched his own record label – the label he formed back in 1994.

And to celebrate, Ginger is releasing ‘G*A*S*S* MK II’ on double gatefold sleeve vinyl, Compact Disc and Direct Download.

The album features 13 songs recorded as part of Ginger’s 2014 year-long ‘G*A*S*S* project, which saw the prolific songwriter record and release three songs every month direct to fans who subscribed to the project (subscribers also received additional demos, artwork and stories written by Ginger).

After the year was up, Ginger released ‘Year Of The Fanclub’ a CD and vinyl which featured a collection of songs from the project.

‘G*A*S*S* Mk 2’ is the second coming.

Ginger Wildheart – GASS MK II

Says Ginger:

“‘Year Of The Fanclub’ represented some of the popular highlights but omitted some of my very favourite compositions. ‘G*A*S*S* Mk 2’ represents what I consider to be the best of ‘G*A*S*S*, those little gems where planets aligned, musicians excelled and words seem to hit targets.”

The 13-track album is only available direct from Ginger’s website and will be released on CD and double gatefold vinyl.  All the tracks have been remastered especially for the compilation by Dave Draper (Ginger Wildheart, Terrorvision, Ryan Hamilton) and the artwork has been realised by Rich Jones (Michael Monroe, The Black Halos, The Loyalties).

The album features hand written liner notes by Ginger too.

In addition to ‘G*A*S*S* Mk 2’, Round Records will also be shortly reissuing The Wildhearts’ 2007 self-titled album, as well as a brand new solo album from Ginger.

Pre-order for the ‘G*A*S*S* Mk 2’, album are here:

Round Records Here