Replenish Your Soul With The Uplifting Sounds of WOUNDEDSPiRiT
The UK Indie-Rockers are Back On the Scene After a 16 Year Break
Founded in 1989 by vocalist Jason Kelly and guitarist Biggsy, the UK band WOUNDEDSPiRiT began to make a name for themselves with their unique and uplifting, melodic sounds. After making their mark on the local music scene in their hometown of West Bromwich for the better part of eleven years, WOUNDEDSPiRiT decided to take a break in 2000. During that time, the members were busy living life and partaking in all the mundane tasks of adulthood with jobs and mortgages, marriages, and divorces. Though their priorities had changed, they never lost touch with one another or their love of music.
Because they were all friends and schoolmates, and some actual family as vocalist Jason Kelly and keyboardist Debbie P. are cousins, they remained close even though the band was out of action. In 2016, it was time to get things going again according to Kelly. “I just phoned them all up and said, let’s get the band back together.” They had played together for so long that it was as if no time had passed as they breathed new life into their old songs. Things began to happen quickly and before anyone could take a breath, WOUNDEDSPiRiT had a new single out and a video that was shot in a 28,000 seat soccer stadium. Shortly after, the band would release their debut album FOREVER Young.
The record is a wonderful ride, full of jangly pop melodies that will brighten even the darkest of days. Influenced by bands like U2, Coldplay, and the Killers, their sound is unique, led by the smooth vocals of Kelly. They remind me a little of The Cure or R.E.M but a much happier and cheerful version. A lot of the songs were written in the nineties and lyrically revolve around the universal theme of love. “Fake News” gets things going with the spoken words “Fake, fake,” a true statement of our times and the current political and social climate of the world we live in, touching on relevant topics like Donald Trump, Brexit, and even bitcoin, getting much needed airplay for the band on BBC radio. “11months3weeks6days” is a hook laden, pop love song that Jason says is about “always looking in the crowd for that one person who made your heart beat a little faster than anybody else.”
“She Knows” starts out softly before the guitar builds and the song becomes a battle cry for love as Kelly sings “I just want to be loved.” The love continues with “Alone (Without You),” a tale of two lovers from opposite sides of the tracks and the beautiful piano ballad “She,” which deals with loving someone who suffers from depression.
With a funky opening rhythm and charming melody, “10,000 Shades of Blue” will have you up and dancing in no time. The song is a fan favorite with some of the lyrics contributed by Jason’s daughter Shannon including the epic “this is who I am” hook. A truly fun track is the rap-pop collaboration “Stand Up.” The song was written back in 1998 and when the band decided to make the album, they brought in rapper Har-q, a work acquaintance of Kelly’s, for a rap, hip-hop vocal that is a perfect fit for the lyrics. The album’s title track is a poignant cover of the Alphaville song “Forever Young,” that seems perfectly made for the band.
Recent gigs include support for Grammy winners The Kentucky Headhunters, top UK artists like Dodgy, and the legendary Scottish band Big Country. I’m sad to report original guitarist Biggsy has made the difficult decision to leave the band due to the huge commitment it entails. The band is currently looking for a new guitarist to fill the spot but will continue to leave the door open for Biggsy if things should change. In the meantime, WOUNDEDSPiRit is busy working on pre-production for their new album with a single hopefully to drop in April of 2019 with the full release slated for next fall.
Living for the moment with no regrets, the band has gotten a new lease on life through their music. Their audience is growing along with the band and it appears that there are no limits to what they can achieve. Though the band members may be in their forties, they have all the vim and vigor of their younger years and the spirit needed to succeed. The music industry can be an unforgiving beast but WOUNDEDSPiRit is up for the challenge. “You have to shoot the puck to score a goal” says Kelly. With FOREVER Young, it appears that WOUNDEDSPiRiT is well on their way to a shut out victory.