Fireworks

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Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts - 'This Is The Sound' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2019    
 
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The rise and rise in recent times of Ryan Hamilton has been something to behold. A tour with Ginger Wildheart across the UK secured a fledgling audience and cemented the core of a band. The release that tour was based around, 'The Devil's In The Detail', confirmed the live triumphs and, under the name Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors, the world looked to be the oyster of the singing guitarist and his cohorts. However, from there the group have changed their name to become Harlequin Ghosts, have dismissed the thought of inking a record deal before signing with Stevie Van Zandt's Wicked Cool label and hit larger halls across the country with The Alarm, and yet they still enthralled their own audience with some stand-alone shows. Now it's time to seal the deal, take the next step and catch the zeitgeist.

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Proclaiming 'This Is The Sound' in a manner that shows how much they believe in the record they've created, Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts have not only served up what is, to these ears anyway, the best thing Hamilton has put his name to, but an album that could reignite the all too yesterday focused Power Pop scene. This is indeed the sound of a band firing on all cylinders after finding their stars aligning and being determined not to waste it. It sounds obvious to say, but having Little Steven onside can only be a massive stamp of approval from one of Rock's longest enduring movers and shakers, and when he decided to add a new chorus to lead single 'Mamacita', he sure wasn't mucking around.

Impressively, it's merely an indication of how strong the rest of the album's material is when you consider that was his only intervention, 'Bottoms Up (Here's To Goodbye)' careening into view on a popping snare and "babadabaapaaaa" sing-along that doesn't even hint that we're dealing with addiction and consequence. Elsewhere, 'Feels Like Falling In Love' might just be the most memorable chorus you've heard this side of The Beatles as Hamilton sings the damn ass off it, whereas 'Get Down' and 'Girl Vs Monster' add a Country lilt; the former with a bullish abandon, the latter with restraint and regret. Add in the stand and stomp of 'Same Page' and the tender tears of 'Won't Stop Now', and this really is the sound we should all be marching to.

Steven Reid

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