18
Apr 02

THE WILDBUNCH – “Danger! High Voltage!”

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THE WILDBUNCH – “Danger! High Voltage!”

I think they think they’re joking, but they’re not. Maybe when they recorded the track – “Hey! Guys! Let’s do a disco song!” “A disco song?” “Yeah man why not?” – but when they played it back? Surely then they heard what I’m hearing, surely they looked at each other and grinned, surely they started to bump, twitch, whoop, surely the Wildbunch realised what they’d done.

A hit? Well, yeah, for starters. “Danger! High Voltage!” needs licensing to a sympathetic label which knows what it’s doing but still has the clout to sell a band big. Poptones, maybe. After all The Wildbunch have just accidentally turned into what the Hives dream of being – that tight, that naively electric, that European. They’re not naive or European – they’re know-it-alls from Detroit, but put the record on and you won’t believe that. This is West Germany, 1980 maybe, guitars are cheap and loud, and the bassline has to be disco because that’s what basslines are these days, and you’ve got a friend with a saxophone? Fuck it, let him on the record too. Sing in German? Don’t be stupid, we want people to buy this shit. No, English, and make the vocals big, big cat big, like a tiger, savage, glam it up! We want people to remember it, to sing the hook to each other in the clubs and on the bases, to laugh.

And they would have. And they will. “Danger! Danger! High voltage! When we touch! When we kiss!” – I’m not going to try and tell you how they sing it, how absurdly right it is. The singer I thought was a girl turns out to be Jack White Stripe, diving sideways into the best record he might ever make. Come to think of it, this is the best record the whole ‘new rock’ thing has thrown up so far, not because it’s not rock (it is), but because it’s not in awe of rock, or anything. You need to hear it, on your radios and in your charts. Someone make it happen.

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