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Label: Wicked Cool Records

Release Date: May 31, 2019

Rating: 100%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

The recently released This Is The Sound from Ryan Hamilton And The Harlequin Ghosts crossed my email and then my mailbox and I am so glad it did – the disc is full of rock nuggets that swirl some of my favorite sounds and vibes.  Disc opener “Mamacita” comes at you with tongue in cheek lyrics and a great sound that reminds me of one of my favorites, Ginger + The Wildhearts.  The music is a perfect blend of rock, punk, and pop – culminating in a feel good sound blended with great vocals and lyrics.  “Bottom’s Up (Here’s To Goodbye)” builds on the sound and vibe of the previous track and helps deliver a killer one-two punch to kick the disc off.  The chorus is contagious and the guitar work in the bridge and transitions is great.  “Get Down” is a favorite that swirls together the sound that reminds me track after track of The Wildhearts with the sound and groove of another favorite, Butch Walker.  The songs musical accompaniment under the vocals is killer and adds punch to the song and disc overall.  This track, as well as “Mamacita” feature Stevie Van Zandt on lead guitar.  “All Fall Down” unfolds slowly and gives us a few moments to enjoy Ryan Hamilton’s vocals while the band works their way into the mix as the song creeps from the verse to the chorus.  The vocals deliver the lyric with emotion and draw you into the tracks story line.  “Let You Go” reminds me of some of the late 90’s / early 2000’s pop punk, without sounding rehashed or overdone.  The drumming on this track from Mickey Richards stands out and helps drive the track underneath the vocals and guitars from Hamilton.  “Girl Vs Monster” is one of the oddest titles on the disc and a cool blend of musical styles, swirling Americana, country, some pop sensibility, and rock undertones.  This song shows Ryan’s diversity as a writer and musician without deviating from the path cut by the rest of the disc.

“Feels Like Falling In Love” slows the tempo a bit compared to a lot of the other tracks, but I think it embraces the poppier side of the bands sound and let’s up on the driven punk sound.  This song show a different side of the band early on and demonstrates the songwriting skills and the cohesive sound they have in pulling a song together.  “Far Cry” is one of my personal favorites on the disc, marrying a ballad-like lyric with the pop/punk guitar sound and solid tempo / cadence supplied by the rhythm section.  The chorus will have you singing along before you get to the bridge and the the overall vibe of the track will get your foot tapping.  Title track “This Is The Sound” is a great song that blends great vocals – lead and layered background vocals – with some of the best guitar work on the disc, all of which is supported by the rhythm section of drummer Mickey Richards and bassist Rob Lane.  This song was built for the stage and should get any crowd amped up in a live situation.  “So Gone” is another song that could have been ripped from one of Butch Walker’s later solo discs or one of his artists he produced.  The layered vocals, solid guitars, and great melody and rhythm show off Hamilton’s writing skills, as well as those of co-writer and disc producer Dave Draper.  “Same Page” opens up with a mellow pop / punk / rock vibe before the chorus kicks in and we are hit with a solid track that gets the foot tapping and body moving in sync with the songs rhythm and cadence.  Be sure to check out the guitar work at the bridge – a cool breakdown and solo without overdoing it.  Disc closer “Won’t Stop Now” slows things down and gives us a glimpse into Ryan’s softer side – as a writer, singer, and musician.  The lyrics are poignant and delivered perfectly by Hamilton’s emotionally charged vocal.  While a lot of discs will take you out on a louder or heavier sound, this disc benefits from this beautiful track and not only prompts you to hit play and start the disc over again, but gives you hope that there are more great songs to come from these guys!

Tracklisting: Mamacita – Bottom’s Up (Here’s To Goodbye) – Feels Like Falling In Love – Get Down – Far Cry – All Fall Down – This Is The Sound – Let You Go – So Gone – Girl Vs Monster – Same Page – Won’t Stop Now







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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